course

noun
\ ˈkȯrs How to pronounce course (audio) \

Definition of course

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or action of moving in a path from point to point the planets in their courses
2 : the path over which something moves or extends: such as
b(1) : the direction of travel of a vehicle (such as a ship or airplane) usually measured as a clockwise angle from north also : the projected path of travel
(2) : a point of the compass
3a : accustomed procedure or normal action the law taking its course
b : a chosen manner of conducting oneself : way of acting Our wisest course is to retreat.
c(1) : progression through a development or period or a series of acts or events the course of history
4 : an ordered process or succession: such as
a : a number of lectures or other matter dealing with a subject took a course in zoology also : a series of such courses constituting a curriculum a premed course
b : a series of doses or medications administered over a designated period
5a : a part of a meal served at one time the main course
b : layer especially : a continuous level range of brick or masonry throughout a wall
c : the lowest sail on a square-rigged mast
in due course
: after a normal passage of time : in the expected or allotted time His discoveries led in due course to new forms of treatment.
of course
1 : following the ordinary way or procedure will be done as a matter of course
2 : as might be expected Of course we will go.

course

verb
coursed; coursing

Definition of course (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to follow close upon : pursue
2a : to hunt or pursue (game) with hounds
b : to cause (dogs) to run (as after game)
3 : to run or move swiftly through or over : traverse Jets coursed the area daily.

intransitive verb

: to run or pass rapidly along or as if along an indicated path blood coursing through the veins

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Synonyms & Antonyms for course

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of course in a Sentence

Noun the course of a river The pilot brought the plane back on course. The ship was blown off course by a storm. She's taking a chemistry course this semester. Students earn the degree after a two-year course of study. There is no cure, but the treatment will slow the course of the disease. Verb the blood coursing through my veins Tears were coursing down his cheeks.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Beavers’ biggest concern, of course, is offense. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 31 May 2021 Avoid being a stalker, of course, but don’t be afraid to pursue a policy of polite persistence. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 May 2021 The maximum fine of $20,000, of course, is not a big deal to Osaka, the world’s highest-earning female athlete thanks to endorsement contracts totaling tens of millions of dollars. Howard Fendrich, chicagotribune.com, 31 May 2021 That, of course, never played out according to plan. NBC News, 31 May 2021 Proxy advisers, of course, must respond to the demands of their customers. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 31 May 2021 Last year, of course, was on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. Marc Bona, cleveland, 31 May 2021 Children, who, of course, hate shots, are less likely to fall seriously ill from COVID-19, so reducing side effects improves the vaccine's risk-benefit ratio for them. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 31 May 2021 And of course, colleagues who are open with one another about their vaccination status are probably getting on better than those who aren’t. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 31 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now, the Grande Narrative cofounders are drafting recommendations for a new African American studies course that the state education board approved in April as an elective for high school students. BostonGlobe.com, 29 May 2021 Forrester has identified seven key steps that firms must take to help course correct and continue to accelerate their mental health efforts. Forrester, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Baez’s commitment to social justice and folk music, the twin rivers that course through her big life, took her wherever trouble thrived: Hanoi, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Chile, Argentina, Alabama. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 Still, the rivers continued to course through the city — and in their churning, frothy waters, some could see a new 21st-century identity for Franklin. BostonGlobe.com, 2 May 2021 Blood vessels that course through this vital organ have walls made of specialized cells, packed very closely and with abilities to control what can get in and out. Daniela Kaufer, Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2021 Sleep really is the best way to course correct, optimize your brain’s performance and invest in your mental health. Ashley Stahl, Forbes, 7 May 2021 High school teachers like Tracy Smith are navigating difficult conversations with students about race relations, police brutality and government policy as Texas is in its first year of offering an African American studies course statewide. Dallas News, 6 Feb. 2021 This current will also course through other areas of legal practice. Mark A. Cohen, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'course.' 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 course

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for course

Noun

Middle English cours, borrowed from Anglo-French cours, curs, going back to Latin cursus "action of running, charge, movement along a path, progress," from currere "to run, flow" + -tus, suffix of verbal action — more at current entry 1

Note: As pointed out by Michiel de Vaan (Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages, Leiden, 2008), the expected outcome of the verbal adjective in *-to- and the verbal noun in *-tū- would be *kostus < *korstus < *kr̥s-to-, kr̥s-tū-, from the verbal base *kr̥s- (> currere). The attested form cursus for both the past participle and verbal noun reflects remodeling on the pattern of stems ending in a dental (as morsus from mordere "to bite," versus from vertere "to turn"). As generally in Latin, the verbal noun, where full grade of the root would be expected, has been supplanted by zero grade of the verbal adjective.

Verb

Middle English coursen "to pursue," derivative of cours course entry 1

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Time Traveler for course

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for course

Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Course.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/course. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for course

course

noun

English Language Learners Definition of course

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the path or direction that something or someone moves along
: a path or route that runners, skiers, bikers, etc., move along especially in a race
: a series of classes about a particular subject in a school

course

verb

English Language Learners Definition of course (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move or flow quickly

course

noun
\ ˈkȯrs How to pronounce course (audio) \

Kids Definition of course

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : motion from one point to another : progress in space or time The earth makes its course around the sun in 365 days. During the course of a year he meets dozens of people.
2 : the path over which something moves The ship was blown off course.
3 : a natural channel for water A trail follows the river's course.
4 : a way of doing something Choose a course of action.
5 : the ordinary way something happens over time the course of business
6 : a series of acts or proceedings arranged in regular order a course of therapies
7 : a series of classes in a subject a geography course
8 : a part of a meal served separately We ate a three course dinner.
of course
: as might be expected You know, of course, that I like you.

course

verb
coursed; coursing

Kids Definition of course (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to run through or over
2 : to move rapidly : race

course

noun
\ ˈkō(ə)rs, ˈkȯ(ə)rs How to pronounce course (audio) \

Medical Definition of course

1 : the series of events or stages comprising a natural process the course of a disease
2 : a series of doses or medications administered over a designated period a course of three doses daily for five days

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