\ˈkȯrs \
coarser; coarsest

Definition of coarse 

1 : of ordinary or inferior quality or value : common of what coarse metal ye are molded— Shakespeare

2a(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 filled in the details of the rather coarse preliminary report

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

4 : harsh, raucous, or rough in tone

5 chiefly British : of or relating to coarse fish coarse fishing

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Other Words from coarse

coarsely adverb
coarseness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for coarse


grained, grainy, granular, granulated


dusty, fine, floury, powdery, superfine, ultrafine

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of coarse in a Sentence

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 He had a heavy face and a shrivelled nose and thick, coarse, bunched up skin. — Paul Theroux, Granta, Summer 1994 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 Around the throbbing machinery was a frame of coarse wire net. — Ursula K. Le Guin, Harper's, August 1990 The dog has a thick, coarse coat. The fabric varies in texture from coarse to fine.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Add remaining butter; pulse just until coarse crumbs form. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Sparkly Apple Slab Pie," 23 Oct. 2018 Then, massage your cabbage for about five to 10 minutes with coarse salt. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Make Sauerkraut," 30 Oct. 2018 Cut 3/4 cup butter and the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers, until a coarse meal forms. Country Living, "Pie Recipes," 7 Feb. 2018 Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes more. Drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Apple Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread," 13 Feb. 2015 Thanks to the region’s extremely harsh weather conditions, the goats develop fleece in two layers: a coarse, scraggly exterior and a downy dense under-fleece. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "How Loro Piana Works With Mongolian Goat Herds to Gather the World's Softest Cashmere," 25 Oct. 2018 The high-grade gold contains both coarse gold and large gold-containing stone, according to the mining company. James Rogers, Fox News, "Massive 'mother lode' of gold discovered in Australia," 12 Sep. 2018 Using a coarse wire-mesh sieve, sift a very fine (⅛-inch) layer of dry potting mix over the seeds. Willi Evans Galloway, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Microgreens Indoors at Home," 22 Aug. 2018 The 158-year-old spa recently introduced Quartz Massage, or psammotherapy (derived from the Greek word for sand), which involves lying atop a trough-like table of heated crystals more coarse than beach sand. Melinda Fulmer,, "I tried a 100-degree Quartz Massage — and loved it," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coarse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coarse

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coarse

Middle English cors, perhaps from course, noun — see course entry 1

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Statistics for coarse

Last Updated

17 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for coarse

The first known use of coarse was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for coarse



English Language Learners Definition of coarse

: made up of large pieces : not fine

: having a rough quality

: rude or offensive


\ˈkȯrs \
coarser; coarsest

Kids Definition of coarse

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

2 : made up of large particles coarse sand

3 : crude in taste, manners, or language

4 : of poor or ordinary quality

Other Words from coarse

coarsely adverb
coarseness noun


\ˈkō(ə)rs, ˈkȯ(ə)rs \

Medical Definition of coarse 

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

2 of a tremor : of wide excursion a coarse tremor of the extremities

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on coarse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coarse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coarse

Spanish Central: Translation of coarse

Nglish: Translation of coarse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coarse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on coarse

What made you want to look up coarse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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