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[kawrs, kohrs] /kɔrs, koʊrs/
adjective, coarser, coarsest.
composed of relatively large parts or particles:
The beach had rough, coarse sand.
lacking in fineness or delicacy of texture, structure, etc.:
The stiff, coarse fabric irritated her skin.
harsh; grating.
lacking delicacy, taste, or refinement; unpolished:
He had coarse manners but an absolutely first-rate mind.
of inferior or faulty quality; common; base.
vulgar; obscene; crude:
His coarse language angered us.
(of metals) unrefined.
(of a metal file) having the maximum commercial grade of coarseness.
Origin of coarse
1550-60; earlier cors(e), course, cowarce; of obscure origin
Related forms
coarsely, adverb
coarseness, noun
uncoarse, adjective
uncoarsely, adverb
uncoarseness, noun
Can be confused
coarse, course, curse, cuss.
2, 4. crude, rude, rough. 4. vulgar, gross, crass. 6. indelicate.
4. refined, sensitive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for coarse
  • coarse and fine image adjustments in both vertical and horizontal directions.
  • It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.
  • Add it before beating the whites into a coarse foam.
  • People dip their potatoes in coarse salt and edible clay.
  • But it was impressive nonetheless, especially for the detail it gathered from measurements that are still extremely coarse.
  • Of coarse this is mostly theory right now but it is a question of time and development.
  • Allow to rest for ten minutes then cut the meat off the bone into large chunks, season with coarse sea salt, and serve.
  • The nets stand perpendicular to the prevailing wind, which blows fog into the coarse, woven plastic mesh.
  • Both minerals can be found throughout the world and form coarse-sized crystals.
  • It wasn't the kind you use on bulletin boards but something coarse and dark, the color of damp pine mulch.
British Dictionary definitions for coarse


rough in texture, structure, etc; not fine: coarse sand
lacking refinement or taste; indelicate; vulgar: coarse jokes
of inferior quality; not pure or choice
(of a metal) not refined
(of a screw) having widely spaced threads
Derived Forms
coarsely, adverb
coarseness, noun
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coarse

early 15c., cors "ordinary" (modern spelling is from late 16c.), probably adjectival use of noun cours (see course (n.)), originally referring to rough cloth for ordinary wear. Developed a sense of "rude" c.1500 and "obscene" by 1711. Perhaps related, via metathesis, to French gros, which had a similar sense development. Related: Coarsely; coarseness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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