Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
From literal meaning "of the ordinary course of events". Oldest attestation as "of course" from the 1540s, but previously used in the same sense as "by course" (then-spelled "bi cours", sic) since ca. 1300. (Source: Etymonline.com)
- Used other than as an idiom: see of, course.
- This type of course does not suit me because the course is too expensive.
- (idiomatic) Indicates enthusiastic agreement.
- Of course I'll go with you.
- (idiomatic) Acknowledges the validity of the associated phrase.
- Of course, there will be a few problems along the way.
- (idiomatic) Asserts that the associated phrase should not be argued, particularly if it is obvious or there is no choice in the matter.
- Of course I know that!
- You will, of course, surrender all your future rights to the property.
1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 13, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- We tiptoed into the house, up the stairs and along the hall into the room where the Professor had been spending so much of his time. 'Twas locked, of course, but the Deacon man got a big bunch of keys out of his pocket and commenced to putter with the lock.
2013 June 22, “Snakes and ladders”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 76:
- Risk is everywhere. From tabloid headlines insisting that coffee causes cancer (yesterday, of course, it cured it) to stern government warnings about alcohol and driving, the world is teeming with goblins. For each one there is a frighteningly precise measurement of just how likely it is to jump from the shadows and get you.