of course

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Alternative forms[edit]



of course

  1. (now rare, except in matter of course) That is part of ordinary behaviour or custom; customary, natural. [from 16th c.]
    • 1834, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Francesca Carrara, volume 3, page 147:
      Had Francesca grown up by his side, she would have loved him; and a thousand indulgences, the result of careless good-nature, would have linked the child to the parent, till the mutual affection would have become a thing of course.
    • 1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Miscellaneous Writings:
      I am not using a mere phrase of course, when I say that the feelings with which I bear a part in the ceremony of this day, are such as I find it difficult to utter in words.

Derived terms[edit]


of course (not comparable)

  1. (now rare) In due course; as a matter of course, as a natural result. [from 16th c.]
    • 1751, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, I.20:
      He inspired love and emulation wherever he appeared; envy and jealous rage followed of course; so that he became a very desirable, though a very dangerous acquaintance.
    • 1790, Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men[1]:
      Not tarrying long enough in the brain to be subject to reflection, the next sensations, of course, obliterate them.
    • 1845, Henry John Stephen, New commentaries on the laws of England:
      It was at one time made a question whether giving the royal assent to a single bill did not of course put an end to the session.
  2. Naturally, as would be expected; for obvious reasons, obviously. [from 19th c.]
    Synonyms: naturally, indisputably
    Of course I know that!
    You will, of course, surrender all your future rights to the property.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      “Heavens!” exclaimed Nina, “the blue-stocking and the fogy!—and yours are pale blue, Eileen!—you’re about as self-conscious as Drina—slumping there with your hair tumbling à la Mérode! Oh, it's very picturesque, of course, but a straight spine and good grooming is better. []
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 13, in 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.
    • 2012, Christoper Zara, Tortured Artists: From Picasso and Monroe to Warhol and Winehouse, the Twisted Secrets of the World's Most Creative Minds, part 1, chapter 1, 25:
      There were other flapper-era starlets, of course—Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo—but they were poseurs by comparison.
    • 2013 June 22, “Snakes and ladders”, in 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.



of course

  1. Indicates enthusiastic agreement.
    Will you come with me? — Of course!