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.


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").


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