Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Development in a particular way; progress.
  • noun Movement in time; duration.
  • noun The direction of continuing movement.
  • noun The route or path taken by something that moves, such as a stream or vehicle.
  • noun A designated route or area on which a race is held.
  • noun A mode of action or behavior.
  • noun A typical, natural, or customary manner of proceeding or developing.
  • noun A systematic or orderly succession; a sequence.
  • noun A continuous layer of building material, such as brick or tile, on a wall or roof of a building.
  • noun A complete body of prescribed studies constituting a curriculum.
  • noun A unit of such a curriculum.
  • noun A part of a meal served as a unit at one time.
  • noun Nautical The lowest sail on a mast of a square-rigged ship.
  • noun A point on the compass, especially the one toward which a vehicle, such as a ship, is moving.
  • intransitive verb To move swiftly through or over; traverse.
  • intransitive verb To hunt (game) with hounds.
  • intransitive verb To set (hounds) to chase game.
  • intransitive verb To proceed or move swiftly in a certain direction or along a course.
  • intransitive verb To hunt game with hounds.
  • idiom (off course) Away from the planned or intended course.
  • idiom (in due course) At the proper or right time.
  • idiom (of course) As is to be expected under the circumstances; naturally or obviously.
  • idiom (of course) Used to indicate assent or agreement.
  • idiom (on course) Following the planned or intended course.
  • idiom (run/take) To follow its natural progression or development.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A running or moving forward or onward; motion forward; a continuous progression or advance.
  • noun A running in a prescribed direction, or over a prescribed distance; a race; a career.
  • noun The path, direction, or distance prescribed or laid out for a running or race; the ground or distance walked, run, or sailed over, or to be walked, run, or sailed over, in a race: as, there being no competition, he walked over the course.
  • noun Hence The space of distance or time, or the succession of stages, through which anything passes or has to pass in its continued progress from first to last; the period or path of progression from begiuning to end: as, the course of a planet, or of a human life.
  • noun The line or direction of motion; the line in which anything moves: as, the course of a projectile through the air; specifically (nautical), the direction in which a ship is steered in making her way from point to point during a voyage; the point of the compass on which a ship sails.
  • noun In surveying, a line run with a compass or transit.
  • noun The continual or gradual advance or progress of anything; the series of phases of a process; the whole succession of characters which anything progressive assumes: as, the course of an argument or a debate; the course of a disease.
  • noun In tilting, a charge or career of the contestants in the lists; about or round in a tournament; hence, a round at anything, as in a race; a bout or set-to.
  • noun Order; sequence; rotation; succession of one to another in office, property, dignity, duty, etc.
  • noun Methodical or regulated motion or procedure; customary or probable sequence of events; recurrence of events according to certain laws.
  • noun A round or succession of prescribed acts or procedures intended to bring about a particular result: as, a course of medical treatment; a course of training.
  • noun A series or succession in a specified or systematized order; in schools and colleges, a prescribed order and succession of lectures or studies, or the lectures or studies themselves; curriculum: as, a course of lectures in chemistry, or of study in law.
  • noun A line of procedure; method; way; manner of proceeding; measure: as, it will be necessary to try another course with him.
  • noun A line of conduct or behavior; way of life; personal behavior or conduct: usually in the plural, implying reprehensible conduct.
  • noun That part of a meal which is served at once and separately, with its accompaniments, whether consisting of one dish or of several: as, a course of fish; a course of game; a dinner of four courses.
  • noun A row, round, or layer. Specifically— In building, a continuous range of stones or bricks of the same height throughout the face or faces, or any smaller architectural division of a building.
  • noun In cutlers' work, each stage of grinding or polishing on the cutler's lap or wheel.
  • noun In mining, a lode or vein.
  • noun Each series of teeth or burs along the whole length of a file. The first cutting forms a series of sharp ridges called the first course; the second cutting, across these ridges, forms a series of teeth called the second course.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French cours, from Latin cursus, from past participle of currere, to run; see kers- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • But the real climax is reached when Kelly shouts over the telephone "Of course, in self-defense, you fool, _of course_, in self-defense."

    Writing for Vaudeville

  • OLIVIA: I'm being silly, I know -- of course I _ought_ to get married, and _of course_ this is a wonderful chance, and -- HUBERT

    Night Must Fall : a Play in Three Acts

  • In place of, ‘the Aintree course is of a trying nature’ we can surely say ‘Aintree is a trying course’ or ‘the Aintree course is a trying one’—just that and nothing more.

    V. Interlude: On Jargon

  • It has no railway station, which, of course, is a great merit; it's not to have any big blatant hotels or pensions -- nothing but charming bungalow-cottages; there'll be no pier, no band, none of those banal winter-gardens and impossible pleasure palaces that _ces autres_ delight in, and, _of course_, none of those immensely fearful concert parties and pierrots.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, May 6, 1914

  • Of course she's played with me -- that sort always does -- but I think I might really have a chance with her, if it weren't for her mother -- horrible old -- no, of _course_ I don't mean that!

    Marcella

  • Of course it had to be taken off to the rock in pieces, and we may almost say _of course_ the ocean offered opposition.

    The Story of the Rock

  • They came to the conclusion that the voltaic current caused decompositions throughout its whole course in the humid conductor, not merely as preliminary to the recompositions spoken of by Grotthuss and Davy, but producing final separation of the elements in the _course_ of the current, and elsewhere than at the poles.

    Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1

  • Starting with a car chase cold is par for the course, of * course* there was going to be a car chase at some point so why not one out of the gate?

    Ned Raggett Ponders It All

  • course materials the beginning of the course •The learning objectives •course structure

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • Hitherto our story has run a rapid course; but now it stays because Malachy _has finished his course_. [

    St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

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