Meaning of COURSE in English


/ kɔːs; NAmE kɔːrs/ noun , verb

■ noun



[ C ] course (in / on sth) a series of lessons or lectures on a particular subject :

a French / chemistry, etc. course

to take / do a course in art and design

to go on a management training course

The college runs specialist language courses .

—see also correspondence course , crash adjective , foundation course , induction course , refresher course , sandwich course


[ C ] ( especially BrE ) a period of study at a college or university that leads to an exam or a qualification :

a degree course

a two-year postgraduate course leading to a master's degree

—compare programme noun (5)



[ U , C , usually sing. ] a direction or route followed by a ship or an aircraft :

The plane was on / off course (= going / not going in the right direction) .

He radioed the pilot to change course .

They set a course for the islands.


[ C , usually sing. ] the general direction in which sb's ideas or actions are moving :

The president appears likely to change course on some key issues.

Politicians are often obliged to steer a course between incompatible interests.



(also ˌcourse of ˈaction ) [ C ] a way of acting in or dealing with a particular situation :

There are various courses open to us.

What course of action would you recommend?

The wisest course would be to say nothing.



[ sing. ] ~ of sth the way sth develops or should develop :

an event that changed the course of history

The unexpected course of events aroused considerable alarm.



[ C ] any of the separate parts of a meal :

a four-course dinner

The main course was roast duck.



[ C ] = golf course :

He set a new course record.



[ C ] an area of land or water where races are held :

She was overtaken on the last stretch of the course.

—see also assault course , racecourse



[ C , usually sing. ] the direction a river moves in :

The path follows the course of the river.



[ C ] course (of sth) a series of medical treatments, pills, etc. :

to prescribe a course of antibiotics



[ C ] a continuous layer of bricks, stone, etc. in a wall :

A new damp-proof course could cost £1 000 or more.


- in course of sth

- in / over the course of ...

- in the course of time

- in the ordinary, normal, etc. course of events, things, etc.

- of course

- of course not

- on course for sth / to do sth

- run / take its course

—more at collision , due adjective , horse noun , matter noun , middle adjective , par , pervert verb , stay verb

■ verb

[ v + adv. / prep. ] ( literary ) ( of liquid ) to move or flow quickly



course / program

In BrE course is used for a series of lessons or lectures on a particular subject:

a physics course

a course of ten lectures

. In NAmE you would say:

a physics course / program

a program of ten lectures.

In NAmE a course is usually an individual unit that forms part of a longer period of study:

I have to take a physics course / class.

This is called a module in Britain, especially in a college or university.

In BrE course can also mean a period of study at a college or university:

a two-year college course.

In NAmE you would say:

a two-year college program.



of course

Of course is often used to show that what you are saying is not surprising or is generally known or accepted. For this reason, and because it can be difficult to get the right intonation, you may not sound polite if you use of course or of course not when you answer a request for information or permission. It can be safer to use a different word or phrase.

'Is this the right room for the English class?' 'Yes, it is.'

• 'Of course.' or ' Of course it is.'

'Can I borrow your dictionary?' 'Certainly.' ( formal )

'Sure.' ( informal )

'Do you mind if I borrow your dictionary?' 'Not at all.'

'Go ahead.'

( informal ).

If you say of course / of course not it may sound as though you think the answer to the question is obvious and that the person should not ask. In the same way, of course should not be used as a reply to a statement of fact or when someone expresses an opinion:

'It's a lovely day.' 'It certainly is.'/'Yes it is.'

• 'Of course it is.' •

'I think you'll enjoy that play.' 'I'm sure I will.'/'Yes, it sounds really good.'

• Of course.



Middle English : from Old French cours , from Latin cursus , from curs- run, from the verb currere .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.