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Adjectival use of course that diverged in spelling in the 18th century. The sense developed from '(following) the usual course' (cf. of course) to 'ordinary, common' to 'lacking refinement', with 'not fine, granular' arising from its application to cloth. Compare the development of mean.



coarse (comparative coarser, superlative coarsest)

  1. Composed of large parts or particles; of inferior quality or appearance; not fine in material or close in texture.
  2. Lacking refinement, taste or delicacy.
    coarse manners
    coarse language
    • 1791, John Walker, A Critical Pronouncing Dictionary [] [1], London: Sold by G. G. J. and J. Robinſon, Paternoſter Row; and T. Cadell, in the Strand, OCLC 37805775, page 211:
      ☞ This word [earth] is liable to a coarſe vulgar pronunciation, as if written Urth; []

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "coarse" is often applied: language, particle, grain, graining, sand, powder, gravel, grit, salt, gold, thread, hair, cloth, grid, aggregate, texture, grass, fish, angling, fishing.



  • (of inferior quality): fine

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]