Meaning of COARSE in English


ˈkō(ə)rs, -ȯ(ə)rs, -ōəs, -ȯ(ə)s adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English cors, corse common, from cors, corse, n., customary sequence of events — more at course

1. : of ordinary or inferior quality or value : common , base

of what coarse metal ye are molded — Shakespeare


a. : composed of relatively large parts or particles

coarse sand

: loose or rough in texture

coarse skin

the Southern textile industry developed first in … coarse goods; the North went in for medium and fine grade yarns — American Guide Series: Rhode Island

b. : of crude, unskilled, or careless workmanship or design : roughly or crudely formed : without delicacy or grace of feature

coarse imitations, completely lacking in the original delicacy

a coarse heavy face, loose-featured, red and sensual — Thomas Wolfe

c. of paper : of a grade suitable for wrapping or industrial use

d. : adjusted, set, or designed for heavy, fast, or less delicate work

a coarse saw with large teeth

a high-speed milling cutter with coarse pitch

e. : not precise or detailed with respect to adjustment, classification, discrimination : roughly approximate

to fill in the details of the rather coarse picture obtained by the earlier studies

one dial for coarse adjustment, one for fine

f. medicine , of a tremor : of wide excursion

a coarse tremor of the extremities


a. : crude or unrefined in taste, manners, or sensibilities : without cultivation of taste, politeness or civility of manner, or delicacy of feeling

many of the muckraking novels … were simple parables of the coarse businessman and the sensitive intellectual — Bernard De Voto

b. : crude and indelicate of language or idea especially with violation of social taboos on language : obscene , profane


a. dialect , of the weather : rough , stormy

b. dialect Britain , of persons or circumstances : brutal , harsh

5. : harsh, raucous, or rough in tone : not melodious or mellow

the coarse jangling of ordinary bells — G.B.Shaw

— used also of certain sounds heard in auscultation in pathological states of the chest

coarse rales


vulgar , gross , obscene , ribald : coarse suggests unrefined crudeness, indelicacy, or robust roughness

he was forever making eyes at me — a coarse, puffy-faced, red-moustached young man, with his hair plastered down on each side of his forehead. I thought he was perfectly hateful … — A. Conan Doyle

the landlady who had tyrannized over her when ill-humoured and unpaid, or when pleased had treated her with a coarse familiarity scarcely less odious — W.M.Thackeray

In this sense, vulgar , a stronger term, describes what offends good taste or decency and may suggest boorishness

his passion for physical luxury nakedly revealed itself as simply the vulgar longing of the idle rich for conspicuous waste — Granville Hicks

her father is a … vulgar person, mean in his ideals and obtuse in his manners — John Erskine †1951

it was, in fact, the mouth that gave his face its sensual, sly, and ugly look, for a loose and vulgar smile seemed constantly to hover about its thick coarse edges — Thomas Wolfe

gross stresses crude animal inclinations and lack of refinement

merely gross, a scatological rather than a pornographic impropriety — Aldous Huxley

Clif Clawson, at forty, was gross. His face was sweaty, and puffy with pale flesh; his voice was raw; he fancied checked Norfolk jackets, tight across his swollen shoulders and his beefy hips — Sinclair Lewis

a spirituelle amoureuse, she is repelled by the gross or the voluptuary — S.N.Behrman

obscene is the strongest of this group in stressing impropriety, indecency, or nastiness

it was, of course, easy to pick out a line here and there … which was frank to indecency, yet certainly not obscene — H.S.Canby

his innate belief that human flesh is in some way obscene. In the old days artists … had painted decently and had draped their figures — Ellen Glasgow

there are depths beneath depths in what happened last night — obscure fetid chambers of the human soul. Black hatreds, unnatural desires, hideous impulses, obscene ambitions are at the bottom of it — W.H.Wright

ribald suggests rough merriment or crude humor at the irreverent, scurrilous, or vulgar

they had their backs to him, shaking wih the loose laughter which punctuates a ribald description — Mary Austin

a ribald folksong about fleas in the straw — J.L.Lowes

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.