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course Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings
    course of study; course of instruction; class.
    • he took a course in basket weaving
    • flirting is not unknown in college classes
  2. noun a connected series of events or actions or developments
    • the government took a firm course
    • historians can only point out those lines for which evidence is available
  3. noun general line of orientation
    • the river takes a southern course
    • the northeastern trend of the coast
  4. noun a mode of action
    course of action.
    • if you persist in that course you will surely fail
    • once a nation is embarked on a course of action it becomes extremely difficult for any retraction to take place
  5. noun a line or route along which something travels or moves
    track; path.
    • the hurricane demolished houses in its path
    • the track of an animal
    • the course of the river
  6. noun a body of students who are taught together
    grade; class; form.
    • early morning classes are always sleepy
  7. noun part of a meal served at one time
    • she prepared a three course meal
  8. noun (construction) a layer of masonry
    • a course of bricks
  9. noun facility consisting of a circumscribed area of land or water laid out for a sport
    • the course had only nine holes
    • the course was less than a mile
  10. verb move swiftly through or over
    • ships coursing the Atlantic
  11. verb move along, of liquids
    feed; flow; run.
    • Water flowed into the cave
    • the Missouri feeds into the Mississippi
  12. verb hunt with hounds
    • He often courses hares
  13. adverb as might be expected
    of course; naturally.
    • naturally, the lawyer sent us a huge bill

Course noun
F. cours, course, L. cursus, fr. currere to run. See Current.
  1. The act of moving from one point to another; progress; passage.
    And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais. Acts xxi. 7.
  2. THe ground or path traversed; track; way.
    The same horse also run the round course at Newmarket. Pennant.
  3. Motion, considered as to its general or resultant direction or to its goal; line progress or advance.
    A light by which the Argive squadron steers Their silent course to Ilium's well known shore. Dennham.
    Westward the course of empire takes its way. Berkeley.
  4. Progress from point to point without change of direction; any part of a progress from one place to another, which is in a straight line, or on one direction; as, a ship in a long voyage makes many courses; a course measured by a surveyor between two stations; also, a progress without interruption or rest; a heat; as, one course of a race.
  5. Motion considered with reference to manner; or derly progress; procedure in a certain line of thought or action; as, the course of an argument.
    The course of true love never did run smooth. Shak.
  6. Customary or established sequence of evants; re currence of events according to natural laws.
    By course of nature and of law. Davies.
    Day and night, Seedtime and harvest, heat and hoary frost, Shall hold their course. Milton.
  7. Method of procedure; manner or way of conducting; conduct; behavior.
    My lord of York commends the plot and the general course of the action. Shak.
    By perseverance in the course prescribed. Wodsworth.
    You hold your course without remorse. Tennyson.
  8. A series of motions or acts arranged in order; a succession of acts or practices connectedly followed; as, a course of medicine; a course of lectures on chemistry.
  9. The succession of one to another in office or duty; order; turn.
    He appointed . . . the courses of the priests 2 Chron. viii. 14.
  10. That part of a meal served at one time, with its accompaniments.
    He [Goldsmith] wore fine clothes, gave dinners of several courses, paid court to venal beauties. Macualay.
  11. (Arch.) A continuous level range of brick or stones of the same height throughout the face or faces of a building. Gwilt.
  12. (Naut.) The lowest sail on any mast of a square-rigged vessel; as, the fore course, main course, etc.
  13. pl. (Physiol.) The menses. T. Jefferson. Syn. -- Way; road; route; passage; race; series; succession; manner; method; mode; career; progress.
Course transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Coursed ); present participle & verbal noun Coursing
  1. To run, hunt, or chase after; to follow hard upon; to pursue.
    We coursed him at the heels. Shak.
  2. To cause to chase after or pursue game; as, to course greyhounds after deer.
  3. To run through or over.
    The bounding steed courses the dusty plain. Pope.
Course intransitive verb
  1. To run as in a race, or in hunting; to pursue the sport of coursing; as, the sportsmen coursed over the flats of Lancashire.
  2. To move with speed; to race; as, the blood courses through the veins. Shak.

Webster 1913