Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Onward movement in a particular direction; progress: the course of events.
  • n. Movement in time; duration: in the course of a year.
  • n. The direction of continuing movement: took a northern course.
  • n. The route or path taken by something, such as a stream, that moves. See Synonyms at way.
  • n. Sports A designated area of land or water on which a race is held: the course of a marathon.
  • n. Sports A golf course.
  • n. A mode of action or behavior: followed the best course and invested her money.
  • n. A typical or natural manner of proceeding or developing; customary passage: a fad that ran its course.
  • n. A systematic or orderly succession; a sequence: a course of medical treatments.
  • n. A continuous layer of building material, such as brick or tile, on a wall or roof of a building.
  • n. A complete body of prescribed studies constituting a curriculum: a four-year course in engineering.
  • n. A unit of such a curriculum: took an introductory course in chemistry; passed her calculus course.
  • n. A part of a meal served as a unit at one time: The first course was a delicious soup.
  • n. Nautical The lowest sail on a mast of a square-rigged ship.
  • n. A point on the compass, especially the one toward which a vehicle, such as a ship, is moving.
  • transitive v. To move swiftly through or over; traverse: ships coursing the seas.
  • transitive v. To hunt (game) with hounds.
  • transitive v. To set (hounds) to chase game.
  • intransitive v. To proceed or move swiftly along a specified course: "Big tears now coursed down her face” ( Iris Murdoch).
  • intransitive v. To hunt game with hounds.
  • idiom in due course At the proper or right time.
  • idiom of course In the natural or expected order of things; naturally.
  • idiom of course Without any doubt; certainly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A path, sequence, development, or evolution.
  • n. A normal or customary sequence.
  • n. A chosen manner of proceeding.
  • n. Any ordered process or sequence or steps
  • n. A learning program, as in a school.
  • n. A treatment plan
  • n. The itinerary of a race.
  • n. A racecourse.
  • n. A part of a meal.
  • n. The path taken by a flow of water; a watercourse.
  • n. Menses.
  • n. The trajectory of a ball, frisbee etc.
  • n. The direction of movement of a vessel at any given moment.
  • n. The intended passage of voyage, such as a boat, ship, airplane, spaceship, etc.
  • n. The lowest square sail in a fully rigged mast, often named according to the mast.
  • n. A row of bricks or blocks.
  • n. A row of material that forms the roofing, waterproofing or flashing system.
  • n. In weft knitting, a single row of loops connecting the loops of the preceding and following rows.
  • n. A string on a lute
  • n. A golf course.
  • v. To run or flow (especially of liquids and more particularly blood).
  • v. To pursue by tracking or estimating the course taken by one's prey.
  • adv. colloquial variant of of course

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of moving from one point to another; progress; passage.
  • n. The ground or path traversed; track; way.
  • n. Motion, considered as to its general or resultant direction or to its goal; line progress or advance.
  • n. Progress from point to point without change of direction; any part of a progress from one place to another, which is in a straight line, or on one direction; ; also, a progress without interruption or rest; a heat.
  • n. Motion considered with reference to manner; or derly progress; procedure in a certain line of thought or action.
  • n. Customary or established sequence of events; recurrence of events according to natural laws.
  • n. Method of procedure; manner or way of conducting; conduct; behavior.
  • n. A series of motions or acts arranged in order; a succession of acts or practices connectedly followed.
  • n. The succession of one to another in office or duty; order; turn.
  • n. That part of a meal served at one time, with its accompaniments.
  • n. A continuous level range of brick or stones of the same height throughout the face or faces of a building.
  • n. The lowest sail on any mast of a square-rigged vessel
  • n. The menses.
  • transitive v. To run, hunt, or chase after; to follow hard upon; to pursue.
  • transitive v. To cause to chase after or pursue game.
  • transitive v. To run through or over.
  • intransitive v. To run as in a race, or in hunting; to pursue the sport of coursing.
  • intransitive v. To move with speed; to race.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A running or moving forward or onward; motion forward; a continuous progression or advance.
  • n. A running in a prescribed direction, or over a prescribed distance; a race; a career.
  • n. The path, direction, or distance prescribed or laid out for a running or race; the ground or distance walked, run, or sailed over, or to be walked, run, or sailed over, in a race: as, there being no competition, he walked over the course.
  • n. Hence The space of distance or time, or the succession of stages, through which anything passes or has to pass in its continued progress from first to last; the period or path of progression from begiuning to end: as, the course of a planet, or of a human life.
  • n. The line or direction of motion; the line in which anything moves: as, the course of a projectile through the air; specifically (nautical), the direction in which a ship is steered in making her way from point to point during a voyage; the point of the compass on which a ship sails.
  • n. In surveying, a line run with a compass or transit.
  • n. The continual or gradual advance or progress of anything; the series of phases of a process; the whole succession of characters which anything progressive assumes: as, the course of an argument or a debate; the course of a disease.
  • n. In tilting, a charge or career of the contestants in the lists; about or round in a tournament; hence, a round at anything, as in a race; a bout or set-to.
  • n. Order; sequence; rotation; succession of one to another in office, property, dignity, duty, etc.
  • n. Methodical or regulated motion or procedure; customary or probable sequence of events; recurrence of events according to certain laws.
  • n. A round or succession of prescribed acts or procedures intended to bring about a particular result: as, a course of medical treatment; a course of training.
  • n. A series or succession in a specified or systematized order; in schools and colleges, a prescribed order and succession of lectures or studies, or the lectures or studies themselves; curriculum: as, a course of lectures in chemistry, or of study in law.
  • n. A line of procedure; method; way; manner of proceeding; measure: as, it will be necessary to try another course with him.
  • n. A line of conduct or behavior; way of life; personal behavior or conduct: usually in the plural, implying reprehensible conduct.
  • n. That part of a meal which is served at once and separately, with its accompaniments, whether consisting of one dish or of several: as, a course of fish; a course of game; a dinner of four courses.
  • n. A row, round, or layer. Specifically— In building, a continuous range of stones or bricks of the same height throughout the face or faces, or any smaller architectural division of a building.
  • n. In cutlers' work, each stage of grinding or polishing on the cutler's lap or wheel.
  • n. In mining, a lode or vein.
  • n. Each series of teeth or burs along the whole length of a file. The first cutting forms a series of sharp ridges called the first course; the second cutting, across these ridges, forms a series of teeth called the second course.
  • n. In musical instruments, a set of strings tuned in unison. They are so arranged as to be struck one or more at a time, according to the fullness of tone desired.
  • n. Nautical, one of the sails bent to a ship's lower yards: as, the mainsail, called the main course, the foresail or fore course, and the cross-jack or mizzen course. See cut under sail.
  • n. plural The menstrual flux; catamenia.
  • n. In coursing, a single chase; the chase of a hare, as by greyhounds.
  • n. Line of business or business transactions.
  • n. The regular succession of events in the conduct of business.
  • n. The tendency or direction of trade or of the markets.
  • n. Of course.
  • n. Synonyms Way, road, route, passage. Rotation. Series, succession. Procedure, manner, method, mode.
  • To hunt; pursue; chase.
  • To cause to run; force to move with speed.
  • To run through or over: as, the blood courses the winding arteries.
  • To run; pass over or through a course; run or move about: as, the blood courses.
  • To engage in the sport of coursing. See coursing.
  • To dispute in the schools.
  • An obsolete spelling of coarse.
  • n. An obsolete variant of curse.
  • To groom.
  • n. In mining: An influx of water from one direction.
  • n. The direction of a lode or vein.
  • n. A passage-way.
  • n. The direction of a mine working.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. move swiftly through or over
  • n. facility consisting of a circumscribed area of land or water laid out for a sport
  • n. a connected series of events or actions or developments
  • n. a mode of action
  • adv. as might be expected
  • v. hunt with hounds
  • n. a line or route along which something travels or moves
  • n. (construction) a layer of masonry
  • v. move along, of liquids
  • n. a body of students who are taught together
  • n. part of a meal served at one time
  • n. general line of orientation
  • n. education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French cours, from Latin cursus, from past participle of currere, to run; see kers- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French cours, from Latin cursus ("course of a race"), from currō ("run"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But the real climax is reached when Kelly shouts over the telephone "Of course, in self-defense, you fool, _of course_, in self-defense."

    Writing for Vaudeville

  • OLIVIA: I'm being silly, I know -- of course I _ought_ to get married, and _of course_ this is a wonderful chance, and -- HUBERT

    Night Must Fall : a Play in Three Acts

  • In place of, ‘the Aintree course is of a trying nature’ we can surely say ‘Aintree is a trying course’ or ‘the Aintree course is a trying one’—just that and nothing more.

    V. Interlude: On Jargon

  • It has no railway station, which, of course, is a great merit; it's not to have any big blatant hotels or pensions -- nothing but charming bungalow-cottages; there'll be no pier, no band, none of those banal winter-gardens and impossible pleasure palaces that _ces autres_ delight in, and, _of course_, none of those immensely fearful concert parties and pierrots.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, May 6, 1914

  • Of course she's played with me -- that sort always does -- but I think I might really have a chance with her, if it weren't for her mother -- horrible old -- no, of _course_ I don't mean that!

    Marcella

  • Of course it had to be taken off to the rock in pieces, and we may almost say _of course_ the ocean offered opposition.

    The Story of the Rock

  • They came to the conclusion that the voltaic current caused decompositions throughout its whole course in the humid conductor, not merely as preliminary to the recompositions spoken of by Grotthuss and Davy, but producing final separation of the elements in the _course_ of the current, and elsewhere than at the poles.

    Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1

  • Starting with a car chase cold is par for the course, of * course* there was going to be a car chase at some point so why not one out of the gate?

    Ned Raggett Ponders It All

  • •course materials the beginning of the course •The learning objectives •course structure

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  • Hitherto our story has run a rapid course; but now it stays because Malachy _has finished his course_. [

    St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

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