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

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

But like any hopeful dancer who got knocked to the bottom of the pyramid, the show is back for a few more fouettes, fierce competition, and, of course, drama. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Everything We Know About ‘Dance Moms’ Season 8 So Far," 8 May 2019 Over the course of eight years (from 2005-2013), Nancy appeared on seven episodes of The Office. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Here’s Why You Probably Recognize Steve Carell's Wife Nancy," 7 May 2019 Over the course of the two-hour episode, each of the Top 24 contestants took the stage in a rapid-fire series of individual performances, with little commentary from the coaches in-between. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Fans Think This 'Voice' Commercial Was Better Than Any of the Top 24 Performances," 30 Apr. 2019 Boeing has delivered over 1,500 747s over the course of its existence, helping the aircraft serve some 5.9 billion customers, or 80 percent of the world's population, according to the company. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "50 Years On, Boeing's 747 Is Fighting for Survival," 11 Feb. 2019 The others will be constructed over the course of 2019, if everything goes according to plan. Dara Lind, Vox, "Slats, fences, and wall, explained: what exactly the shutdown fight is about," 21 Dec. 2018 And over the course of the year, Lime has expanded internationally, popping up in Singapore, Mexico City, Stockholm, London, and more. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Google Maps Now Shows You How Long It Would Take to Go By Scooter," 13 Dec. 2018 As Nikkie starts applying foundation, we’re treated to an inset shot of Snoop wearing what appears to be a white bathrobe, standing at the mic in a smoky (of course) studio. Marci Robin, Allure, "Snoop Dogg Narrated a NikkieTutorials Makeup Video and It's Perfect," 21 Apr. 2019 And, of course, don’t forget to save room for dessert. Jennifer Milne, ELLE Decor, "How to Throw a New Orleans-Style Fete, According to Julia Reed," 11 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There’s just this idea of activism is kind of coursing through the world right now and fashion is no exception. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ads are just one piece of a bigger ‘reckoning’ in the fashion industry," 20 Sep. 2018 The government, under budgetary pressure, has essentially created quasi-U.S. dollars that exist only electronically in local bank accounts and are now coursing through the economy. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Virtual-Cash Treasure in Zimbabwe Sparks Fight Over Billions," 2 Jan. 2019 There are many jumps: some brisk and flickering, some heroic and coursing, but others, in a later section, have a curiously lazy quality, as if in slow motion. New York Times, "Review: Pam Tanowitz’s ‘Four Quartets’ Hits Poetic Heights," 8 July 2018 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

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

14 May 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 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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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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