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adjective \ˈkȯrs\

Simple Definition of coarse

  • : made up of large pieces : not fine

  • : having a rough quality

  • : rude or offensive

Full Definition of coarse


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

  2. 2 a (1) :  composed of relatively large parts or particles <coarse sand> (2) :  loose or rough in texture <coarse cloth> b :  adjusted or designed for heavy, fast, or less delicate work <a coarse saw with large teeth> c :  not precise or detailed with respect to adjustment or discrimination

  3. 3 :  crude or unrefined in taste, manners, or language

  4. 4 :  harsh, raucous, or rough in tone

  5. 5 chiefly British :  of or relating to coarse fish <coarse fishing>

coarse·ly adverb
coarse·ness noun

Examples of coarse

  1. He had a heavy face and a shrivelled nose and thick, coarse, bunched up skin. —Paul Theroux, Granta, Summer 1994

  2. She'd always been taught—and she'd felt it instinctively—that sun-braised cheeks, sallow skin and reddened hands were coarse and unsightly, the emblem of the foreigner and the day laborer. —T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road To Wellville, 1993

  3. Around the throbbing machinery was a frame of coarse wire net. —Ursula K. Le Guin, Harper's , August 1990

  4. He was a man of middle age with coarse, curly gray hair, a dark, pock-marked complexion and protruding, almost batrachian eyes. —Leila Hadley, Give Me the World, (1958) 1999

  5. The dog has a thick, coarse coat.

  6. The fabric varies in texture from coarse to fine.

Origin of coarse

Middle English cors, perhaps from course, noun

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of coarse

coarse, vulgar, gross, obscene, ribald mean offensive to good taste or morals. coarse implies roughness, rudeness, or crudeness of spirit, behavior, or language <found the coarse humor of coworkers offensive>. vulgar often implies boorishness or ill-breeding <a loud vulgar belch>. gross implies extreme coarseness and insensitiveness <gross eating habits>. obscene applies to anything strongly repulsive to the sense of decency and propriety especially in sexual matters <obscene language not allowed on the air>. ribald applies to what is amusingly or picturesquely vulgar or irreverent or mildly indecent <entertained the campers with ribald folk songs>.

Rhymes with coarse

Medical Dictionary


adjective \ˈkō(ə)rs, ˈkȯ(ə)rs\

Medical Definition of coarse

  1. 1:  visible to the naked eye or by means of a compound microscope <coarse particles>

  2. 2of a tremor :  of wide excursion <a coarse tremor of the extremities>

  3. 3:  harsh, raucous, or rough in tone—used of some sounds heard in auscultation in pathological states of the chest <coarse rales>

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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