in the course of

Idioms & Phrases

in the course of

Also, during the course of. In the process or progress of, as in the famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence (1776), "When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands ..." These phrases have been criticized as needlessly wordy (in or during alone are adequate), but they have an emphatic rhythm that keeps them alive. [Mid-1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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