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adjective \ˈkȯrs\

Simple Definition of coarse

  • : made up of large pieces : not fine

  • : having a rough quality

  • : rude or offensive

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

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>

coarsely adverb
coarseness noun

Examples of coarse in a sentence

  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

COARSE Defined for Kids


adjective \ˈkȯrs\

Definition of coarse for Students


  1. 1 :  having a harsh or rough quality <coarse dry skin> <a coarse fabric>

  2. 2 :  made up of large particles <coarse sand>

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

  4. 4 :  of poor or ordinary quality

coarsely adverb
coarseness noun

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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expressing little or no emotion

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