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See also: coursé and 'course


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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English cours, from Old French cours, from Latin cursus (course of a race), from currō (run), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱers- (to run). Doublet of cursus.


course (plural courses)

  1. A sequence of events.
    The normal course of events seems to be just one damned thing after another.
    1. A normal or customary sequence.
    2. A programme, a chosen manner of proceeding.
    3. Any ordered process or sequence of steps.
    4. A learning programme, whether a single class or (Britain) a major area of study.
      I need to take a French course.
      • 1661, John Fell, The Life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond
        During the whole time of his abode in the university he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant []
      • 1992 August 21, Edwina Currie, Diary:
        Her course will be ‘Communication Studies with Theatre Studies’: God, how tedious, how pointless.
      • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
        Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
    5. (especially in medicine) A treatment plan.
    6. A stage of a meal.
      We offer seafood as the first course.
    7. The succession of one to another in office or duty; order; turn.
  2. A path that something or someone moves along.
    His illness ran its course.
    1. The itinerary of a race.
      The cross-country course passes the canal.
    2. A racecourse.
    3. The path taken by a flow of water; a watercourse.
    4. (sports) The trajectory of a ball, frisbee etc.
    5. (golf) A golf course.
    6. (nautical) The direction of movement of a vessel at any given moment.
      The ship changed its course 15 degrees towards south.
    7. (navigation) The intended passage of voyage, such as a boat, ship, airplane, spaceship, etc.
      A course was plotted to traverse the ocean.
  3. (nautical) The lowest square sail in a fully rigged mast, often named according to the mast.
    Main course and mainsail are the same thing in a sailing ship.
  4. (in the plural, courses, obsolete, euphemistic) Menses.
  5. A row or file of objects.
    1. (masonry) A row of bricks or blocks.
      On a building that size, two crews could only lay two courses in a day.
    2. (roofing) A row of material that forms the roofing, waterproofing or flashing system.
    3. (textiles) In weft knitting, a single row of loops connecting the loops of the preceding and following rows.
  6. (music) One or more strings on some musical instruments (such as the guitar, lute or vihuela): if multiple, then closely spaced, tuned in unison or octaves and intended to played together.
Derived terms[edit]
Related 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.


course (third-person singular simple present courses, present participle coursing, simple past and past participle coursed)

  1. To run or flow (especially of liquids and more particularly blood).
    The oil coursed through the engine.
    Blood pumped around the human body courses throughout all its veins and arteries.
    • 2013, Martina Hyde, "Is the pope Catholic?", The Guardian, 20 September 2013[1]
      He is a South American, so perhaps revolutionary spirit courses through Francis's veins. But what, pray, does the Catholic church want with doubt?
  2. (transitive) To run through or over.
  3. (transitive) To pursue by tracking or estimating the course taken by one's prey; to follow or chase after.
  4. (transitive) To cause to chase after or pursue game.
    to course greyhounds after deer

Etymology 2[edit]

Clipping of of course


course (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial) Alternative form of of course
    • 1922, A. M. Chisholm, A Thousand a Plate:
      "Course it's mighty hard to tell till we've put out a few traps," said the former, "but it looks to me like we've struck it lucky."




From Old French cours, from Latin cursus (course of a race), from currō (run), with influence of Italian corsa.



course f (plural courses)

  1. run, running
  2. race
  3. errand

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


  • Romanian: cursă

Further reading[edit]




From Old French cours, from Latin cursus (course of a race), from currō (run).


course f (plural courses)

  1. (Jersey) course