[kawrs, kohrs]
a direction or route taken or to be taken.
the path, route, or channel along which anything moves: the course of a stream.
advance or progression in a particular direction; forward or onward movement.
the continuous passage or progress through time or a succession of stages: in the course of a year; in the course of the battle.
the track, ground, water, etc., on which a race is run, sailed, etc.: One runner fell halfway around the course.
a particular manner of proceeding: a course of action.
a customary manner of procedure; regular or natural order of events: as a matter of course; the course of a disease.
a mode of conduct; behavior.
a systematized or prescribed series: a course of lectures; a course of medical treatments.
a program of instruction, as in a college or university: a course in economics.
a prescribed number of instruction periods or classes in a particular field of study.
a part of a meal served at one time: The main course was roast chicken with mashed potatoes and peas.
the line along the earth's surface upon or over which a vessel, an aircraft, etc., proceeds: described by its bearing with relation to true or magnetic north.
a point of the compass.
Nautical. the lowermost sail on a fully square-rigged mast: designated by a special name, as foresail or mainsail, or by the designation of the mast itself, as fore course or main course. See diag. under ship.
Building Trades. a continuous and usually horizontal range of bricks, shingles, etc., as in a wall or roof.
one of the pairs of strings on an instrument of the lute family, tuned in unison or in octaves to increase the volume.
the row of stitches going across from side to side in knitting and other needlework (opposed to wale ).
Often, courses. the menses.
a charge by knights in a tournament.
a pursuit of game with dogs by sight rather than by scent.
a race.
verb (used with object), coursed, coursing.
to run through or over.
to chase; pursue.
to hunt (game) with dogs by sight rather than by scent.
to cause (dogs) to pursue game by sight rather than by scent.
Masonry. to lay (bricks, stones, etc.) in courses.
verb (used without object), coursed, coursing.
to follow a course; direct one's course.
to run, race, or move swiftly: The blood of ancient emperors courses through his veins.
to take part in a hunt with hounds, a tilting match, etc.
in due course, in the proper or natural order of events; eventually: They will get their comeuppance in due course.
of course,
certainly; definitely: Of course I'll come to the party.
in the usual or natural order of things: Extra services are charged for, of course.

1250–1300; Middle English co(u)rs (noun) < Anglo-French co(u)rs(e), Old French cours < Latin cursus a running, course, equivalent to cur(rere) to run + -sus, variant of -tus suffix of v. action

multicourse, noun
undercourse, verb, undercoursed, undercoursing, noun

coarse, course, curse, cuss.

1. way, road, track, passage. 2, 13a. bearing. 6. method, mode. 7. process, career. 15. row, layer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
course (kɔːs)
1.  a continuous progression from one point to the next in time or space; onward movement: the course of his life
2.  a route or direction followed: they kept on a southerly course
3.  a.  the path or channel along which something moves: the course of a river
 b.  (in combination): a watercourse
4.  an area or stretch of land or water on which a sport is played or a race is run: a golf course
5.  a period of time; duration: in the course of the next hour
6.  the usual order of and time required for a sequence of events; regular procedure: the illness ran its course
7.  a mode of conduct or action: if you follow that course, you will certainly fail
8.  a connected series of events, actions, etc
9.  a.  a prescribed number of lessons, lectures, etc, in an educational curriculum
 b.  the material covered in such a curriculum
10.  a prescribed regimen to be followed for a specific period of time: a course of treatment
11.  a part of a meal served at one time: the fish course
12.  a continuous, usually horizontal, layer of building material, such as a row of bricks, tiles, etc
13.  nautical any of the sails on the lowest yards of a square-rigged ship
14.  knitting Compare wale the horizontal rows of stitches
15.  (in medieval Europe) a charge by knights in a tournament
16.  a.  a hunt by hounds relying on sight rather than scent
 b.  a match in which two greyhounds compete in chasing a hare
17.  the part or function assigned to an individual bell in a set of changes
18.  archaic a running race
19.  as a matter of course as a natural or normal consequence, mode of action, or event
20.  the course of nature the ordinary course of events
21.  in course of in the process of: the ship was in course of construction
22.  in due course at some future time, esp the natural or appropriate time
23.  of course
 a.  (adverb) as expected; naturally
 b.  (sentence substitute) certainly; definitely
24.  run its course, take its course (of something) to complete its development or action
25.  (intr) to run, race, or flow, esp swiftly and without interruption
26.  to cause (hounds) to hunt by sight rather than scent or (of hounds) to hunt (a quarry) thus
27.  (tr) to run through or over; traverse
28.  (intr) to take a direction; proceed on a course
[C13: from Old French cours, from Latin cursus a running, from currere to run]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., from O.Fr. cours, from L. cursus "a running race or course," from curs- pp. stem of currere "to run" (see current). Most extended senses (meals, etc.) are present in 14c. Academic meaning "planned series of study" is c.1600 (in French from 14c.). The verb is from 16c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with course, also see crash course; in due course; matter of course; of course; par for the course; run its course; stay the course.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
For example, airplane pilots use coordinates to plan their routes and make sure
  they're on course for their destination city.
In the course of a year, the sun's apparent path through the sky lies in this
The real test, of course, is the long term revenue that the deals generate for
  merchants and this study provides no data on that.
It was a course of action whose value and urgency were acknowledged by
  everyone, but it was impeded nonetheless.
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