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late 13c., "onward movement," from Old French cors (12c.) "course; run, running; flow of a river," from Latin cursus "a running race or course," from curs- past participle stem of currere "to run" (see current (adj.)).
Most extended senses (meals, etc.) are present in 14c. Academic meaning "planned series of study" is c.1600 (in French from 14c.). Phrase of course is attested from 1540s; literally "of the ordinary course;" earlier in same sense was bi cours (c.1300).
16c., from course (n.). Related: Coursed; coursing.
the pursuit of game by hounds hunting by sight and not by scent. In modern, organized coursing competitions, two greyhounds at a time pursue one hare. The dogs are judged on performance as well as on their success in catching the hare: points are awarded for outracing the other dog and catching up with the hare, for turning it at a right angle, for wrenching (turning it at less than a right angle), for tripping the hare, and for a kill. Coursing was fully described about AD 150 by the Greek philosopher and historian Arrian in his Cynegeticus (translated as Arrian on Hunting).