course

noun
\ ˈkȯrs \

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

line, methodology, policy, procedure, program

Synonyms: Verb

bird-dog, chase, dog, follow, hound, pursue, run, shadow, tag, tail, trace, track, trail

Antonyms: Verb

guide, lead, pilot

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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

When the General Pickens statue gets decapitated, of course suspicion is placed on the Serpents. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "OK, But Who The Heck is Tall Boy on "Riverdale"?," 24 Jan. 2019 The very same problem plagued the aircraft on four previous flights, which has placed Lion Air under tight scrutiny for failing to identify the issue before its disastrous course with the ocean. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Authorities Find Cockpit Voice Recorder of Crashed Lion Air Flight 610," 14 Jan. 2019 South Korea does have a fund to support the welfare of former laborers, but successive governments have taken an approach of letting court cases run their course, many of which seek reparations from Japanese companies. Alastair Gale, WSJ, "Forced-Labor Dispute Strains Japan-South Korea Relations," 12 Jan. 2019 Know this might not last (and that’s OK) As with friends or romantic partners, sometimes mentoring relationships run their course. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "It's Time to Rethink How You Find a Mentor at Work," 18 Dec. 2018 And, what’s more, Sophia didn’t just sit passively as the show ran its course. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "A Robot Sat Front Row at Alexander Wang's Fall 2019 Show," 3 Dec. 2018 Last year, the Brooklyn wellness boutique Maha Rose quietly advertised its first six-week course in Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a decades-old method for living with compassion whose name was coined by the psychologist Marshall Rosenberg in 1999. Kate Branch, Vogue, "How to Survive Thanksgiving Drama With This Smart Conflict-Management Strategy," 15 Nov. 2018 These controls helped prevent floods and maintain the functionality of the Mississippi as an economic engine that powers dozens of cities along its course, from St. Louis to Memphis to Baton Rouge to, most of all, New Orleans. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 Being so exposed is an eerie feeling at first, to be sure, but the serenade of chirping frogs and grunting hippos becomes familiar in due course. Virginia Van Zanten, Vogue, "Why Botswana Should Top Your Travel List in 2019," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It was surrounded on three sides by Fairmount Park, with the Schuykill River coursing through what is America's largest urban park. Stephen Henderson, ELLE Decor, "In the Mix," 30 July 2010 The team of 12, seeming upbeat, coursed through a tunnel spanning roughly 32 feet that also included a feature that emulates dripping water, according to Sky News. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Thai soccer team boys rescued from cave reportedly recreate experience, navigate through fake tunnel," 6 Sep. 2018 Beneath the banner headline of Mr. Crowley’s defeat, there were other signs on Tuesday of anti-establishment energy coursing through the Democratic Party in New York. Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, "Ocasio-Cortez Toppled a Giant. Are These N.Y. Democrats Next?," 28 June 2018 Another time, another place, but the same toxins coursing through similar veins. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "“This Is Our Land” and “Le Corbeau”," 5 July 2010 Fox News streamed the event, and on YouTube the comments that coursed down the right of the video expressed what might be called discordant support. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "ChurchToo and Mike Pence’s Crisis of Faith," 21 June 2018 Try breathing slowly and deeply, and imagining pleasure coursing through your entire body. Vanessa Marin, Allure, "Ask a Sex Therapist: Help, I Can't Tell If I Just Had My First Orgasm or Not," 16 July 2018 Because of that, Lipman, 58, can appreciate the delirium coursing through Winnipeg, the smallest market in the N.H.L., whose identity was wounded by the original Jets’ departure, after 17 meager seasons, to the Phoenix area in 1996. New York Times, "The Lonely Existence of Winnipeg Jets Fans in Atlanta," 6 May 2018 But these are the issues coursing through Capitol Hill when lawmakers are on recess. Kinda-sorta. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "McConnell threat to nix entire August recess fizzles," 3 Aug. 2018

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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Learn More about course

Statistics for course

Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for course

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

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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 \

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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on course

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with course

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for course

Spanish Central: Translation of course

Nglish: Translation of course for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of course for Arabic Speakers

Comments on course

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