Meaning of COURSE in English


I. ˈkō(ə)rs, -ȯ(ə)rs, -ōəs, -ȯ(ə)s noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English cours, course, from Old French cors, cours, corse, course, from Latin cursus, from cursus, past past. of Latin currere to run


a. : the act or action of moving in a particular path from point to point

the planets in their courses

b. obsolete : run , gallop

c. archaic : a charge by opposing knights : onset : passage at arms : bout

d. : a life regarded as a race : life history : career

ending his course with fame and wealth

e. : the pursuit of game by hounds — usually used with of or at

the course at the deer

f. : race

a prize for winning the course

g. : a progressing or proceeding along a straight line without change of direction

the ship made many courses sailing through the islands

2. : the path over which something moves or the way which something extends : the line or way described by some motion, progression, or series : the direction taken or the ground traversed : track , way

the course of an ocean current

the course of a mountain range

his course was straight east


a. : racecourse


(1) : the track or way taken by a ship or the direction of flight of an airplane : the way projected and assigned usually measured as a clockwise angle from north — see compass course , magnetic course , true course

(2) : a point of the compass

c. obsolete : a fashionable place or way for riding or driving

d. : a channel through which water flows : watercourse

e. : golf course

f. : horizontal direction of a geological structure : strike


a. : accustomed procedure : customary action : usual method of proceeding

the law taking its course

to die according to the course of nature

b. : policy chosen : manner of conducting oneself : conduct especially when reprehensible : way of acting : behavior

persisting in his evil courses

our wisest course is to retreat

c. : progress or progression through a series (as of acts or events) or through a development or a period

watching man's hesitant course through … this time of trouble — Herrymon Maurer

a highway in course of construction

in the course of his service he rose to the rank of colonel

4. : an ordered continuing process, succession, sequence, or series

following the course of the argument

the course of history

the course of the hearings


a. : the series of prayers used in the daily canonical hours

b. courses plural : menstruation


(1) : an educational unit usually at the high school, college, or university level consisting of a series of instruction periods (as lectures, recitations, and laboratory sessions) dealing with a particular subject

an English course

a course in trigonometry

(2) : a series of such courses coordinated to constitute a curriculum and leading typically to a degree

a premedical course

a commercial course

d. : a series of doses or medicaments usually administered over a designated period of time

a course of three doses daily for five days

e. : the series of changes or the shifting path through a series of changes that a single bell makes in change ringing

f. : a sequence of different crops in crop rotation

g. : a series of rounds fired at a target or at a series of targets under specified conditions

5. : a single member of a sequence : one item in a series: as

a. : a division of a meal : the part of a meal served at one time with its accompaniments

a seven- course meal

the main course was roast beef

b. : row , layer : as

(1) : a horizontal layer forming one of a series (as of concrete in road making, of lumber in a lumber pile, or of shingles on a roof)

(2) : a continuous level range of brick or masonry throughout a wall

(3) : a lode of ore

(4) : a horizontal row of loops or stitches in knitted fabrics formed by one passage of the yarn or thread — compare wale

(5) : a strake of plating on a ship's hull


(1) : the lowest sail on any square-rigged mast of a ship

the fore course

(2) : a length especially of a rope or cable

d. obsolete : a time or occasion coming to each individual : turn

e. : a set of persons appointed to hold some office or perform some duty

the course of priests then performing the rites

f. archaic : each one of several attacks in series

g. : a set of things made or used together

a course of candles

h. : a single string or two or more strings (as of a lute) tuned in unison or octaves and played together for increased volume

6. : faculty or opportunity of moving, flowing, or circulating

that the word of the Lord may have free course — 2 Thess 3:1 (Authorized Version)

Synonyms: see way

- as of course

- in course

- in due course

- in full course

- in short course

- of course

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English coursen, from cours, course, n. — more at course I

transitive verb


a. : to hunt or pursue (game) with hounds

coursing the stag

b. : to chase (game) with dogs by sight rather than scent

course a hare

c. : to cause (dogs) to chase after game

2. : to follow close upon : pursue , run , chase

we coursed him at the heels — Shakespeare

3. obsolete : to drive with blows : bludgeon , trounce


a. : to run or move swiftly through or over : take one's course through : traverse

jets coursed the area daily

b. : to cause (dogs) to run in a race : race


a. : to follow the course of (a stream)

coursing the river

b. : to trace (a bee) by observing flight direction

coursing the bee to its hive

6. : to lay or form in courses

course bricks

coursing the lumber

7. : to divert and direct (an air current) along a certain route through a mine

intransitive verb


a. : to run or gallop especially in a tournament or race or in hunting

b. : to take a course : pursue a certain course

coursing along the coast

c. : to run or drive rapidly and steadily often over a set course or through a certain channel

two Zuni runners … coursed over the sand with the fleetness of young antelope — Willa Cather

d. : to traverse or flow strongly or rapidly especially on or as if on a certain path : pulsate , surge

blood coursing through his veins

sap coursing through the young trees

2. of a bell : to move in change ringing steadily up or down in the striking order through a series of changes

the biggest bell coursing

Synonyms: see run



variant of coarse

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