The noun course can refer to a series of lectures, discussions, or other lessons in a particular subject. To graduate from high school, you have to take certain courses in English, social studies, math, and science. Naturally, you want to pass them!

The noun course can refer to a part of a meal. If you love chocolate, your favorite course will be dessert — it's a triple chocolate mousse! The noun course can also refer to an area laid out for a particular sport, as in a golf course or obstacle course. As a verb course can mean to move quickly over or through a certain path, especially some liquid, like when tears course down your cheeks at a sad movie. Don't confuse the spelling of course with coarse, which is an adjective meaning rough.

Primary Meanings of course

a connected series of events or actions or developments
general line of orientation
move along, of liquids
part of a meal served at one time
(construction) a layer of masonry
hunt with hounds
as might be expected
Full Definitions of course

n a connected series of events or actions or developments

“the government took a firm course
current, flow, stream
dominant course (suggestive of running water) of successive events or ideas
Type of:
similar things placed in order or happening one after another

n a mode of action

“if you persist in that course you will surely fail”
“once a nation is embarked on a course of action it becomes extremely difficult for any retraction to take place”
course of action
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blind alley
(figurative) a course of action that is unproductive and offers no hope of improvement
collision course
a course of action (following a given idea) that will lead to conflict if it continues unabated
path, way, way of life
a course of conduct
(archaic) roundabout or mysterious ways of action
primrose path
a life of ease and pleasure
straight and narrow, strait and narrow
the way of proper and honest behavior
Sunna, Sunnah, hadith
(Islam) the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims on the basis of the teachings and practices of Muhammad and interpretations of the Koran
a course leading to warfare or battle
Type of:
something done (usually as opposed to something said)

n education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings

“he took a course in basket weaving”
class, course of instruction, course of study
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adult education
a course (via lectures or correspondence) for adults who are not otherwise engaged in formal study
art class
a class in which you learn to draw or paint
childbirth-preparation class
a course that teaches pregnant women to use breathing and concentration and exercise techniques to use during labor
correspondence course
a course offered (by mail) by a correspondence school
course of lectures
a series of lectures dealing with a subject
directed study
a course of study that is supervised and controlled by a specialist in the subject
elective, elective course
a course that the student can select from among alternatives
extension course
a course offered as part of an extension service
home study
a course of study carried out at home rather than in a classroom
industrial arts
a course in the methods of using tools and machinery as taught in secondary schools and technical schools
orientation, orientation course
a course introducing a new situation or environment
propaedeutic, propaedeutics
a course that provides an introduction to an art or science (or to more advanced study generally)
refresher, refresher course
a course that reviews and updates a topic for those who have not kept abreast of developments
required course
a course that all students are required to take
a course offered for a small group of advanced students
shop, shop class
a course of instruction in a trade (as carpentry or electricity)
a brief intensive course for a small group; emphasizes problem solving
life class
an art class using a live human model
Type of:
didactics, education, educational activity, instruction, pedagogy, teaching
the activities of educating or instructing; activities that impart knowledge or skill

n a body of students who are taught together

class, form, grade
master class
a class (especially in music) given to talented students by an expert
discussion section, section
a small class of students who are part of a larger course but are taught separately
Type of:
assemblage, gathering
a group of persons together in one place

n general line of orientation

“the river takes a southern course
Type of:
direction, way
a line leading to a place or point

n a line or route along which something travels or moves

“the course of the river”
path, track
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collision course
a course of a moving object that will lead to a collision if it continues unchanged
inside track
the inner side of a curved racecourse
the course along which communications spread
the course along which a person has walked or is walking in
belt, swath
a path or strip (as cut by one course of mowing)
a track or mark left by something that has passed
the trail of an animal (especially a deer)
the trail left by a person or an animal; what the hunter follows in pursuing game
Type of:
a spatial location defined by a real or imaginary unidimensional extent

n facility consisting of a circumscribed area of land or water laid out for a sport

“the course had only nine holes”
“the course was less than a mile”
Belmont Park
a racetrack for thoroughbred racing in Elmont on Long Island; site of the Belmont Stakes
Churchill Downs
a racetrack for thoroughbred racing in Louisville; site of the Kentucky Derby
a racetrack for thoroughbred racing; site of the Preakness
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golf course, links course
course consisting of a large landscaped area for playing golf
racecourse, racetrack, raceway, track
a course over which races are run
cinder track
a racetrack paved with fine cinders
dirt track
a racetrack that is not paved
golf links, links
a golf course that is built on sandy ground near a shore
circuit, racing circuit
a racetrack for automobile races
a racetrack for racing automobiles or motorcycles
a banked oval track for bicycle or motorcycle racing
Type of:
facility, installation
a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a particular industry

v move along, of liquids

feed, flow, run
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flow freely
gush, jet
issue in a jet; come out in a jet; stream or spring forth
surge, tide
rise or move forward
move through a space, circuit or system, returning to the starting point
eddy, purl, swirl, whirl, whirlpool
flow in a circular current, of liquids
run off, waste
run off as waste
run down
move downward
flow in a spurt
run out, spill
flow, run or fall out and become lost
stream, well out
flow freely and abundantly
dribble, filter, trickle
run or flow slowly, as in drops or in an unsteady stream
drain, run out
flow off gradually
ooze, seep
pass gradually or leak through or as if through small openings
flow in small streams
flush down, wash down
flow freely
circulate through and freshen
stream in jets, of liquids
gush, spirt, spout, spurt
gush forth in a sudden stream or jet
pour or rush back
leach, percolate
permeate or penetrate gradually
brim over, overflow, overrun, run over, well over
flow or run over (a limit or brim)
Type of:
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v move swiftly through or over

“ships coursing the Atlantic”
Type of:
cover, cross, cut across, cut through, get across, get over, pass over, track, traverse
travel across or pass over

n part of a meal served at one time

“she prepared a three course meal”
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entree, main course
the principal dish of a meal
appetiser, appetizer, starter
food or drink to stimulate the appetite (usually served before a meal or as the first course)
afters, dessert, sweet
a dish served as the last course of a meal
a main course served on a plate
a course of appetizers in an Italian meal
an appetizer consisting usually of a thin slice of bread or toast spread with caviar or cheese or other savory food
an appetizer served as a first course at a meal
hors d'oeuvre
a dish served as an appetizer before the main meal
fruit dessert made of oranges and bananas with shredded coconut
baked Alaska
cake covered with ice cream and meringue browned quickly in an oven
sweet almond-flavored milk pudding thickened with gelatin or cornstarch; usually molded
a mold lined with cake or crumbs and filled with fruit or whipped cream or custard
compote, fruit compote
dessert of stewed or baked fruit
dessert made by baking fruit wrapped in pastry
open pastry filled with fruit or custard
frozen dessert
any of various desserts prepared by freezing
dessert made of sweetened milk coagulated with rennet
a rich, frothy, creamy dessert made with whipped egg whites and heavy cream
a dessert consisting of a meringue base or cup filled with fruit and whipped cream
peach melba
ice cream and peaches with a liqueur
a dessert made of sugar and stiffly beaten egg whites or cream and usually flavored with fruit
any of various soft sweet desserts thickened usually with flour and baked or boiled or steamed
pud, pudding
(British) the dessert course of a meal (`pud' is used informally)
sillabub, syllabub
sweetened cream beaten with wine or liquor
an Italian dessert consisting of layers of sponge cake soaked with coffee and brandy or liqueur layered with mascarpone cheese and topped with grated chocolate
sabayon, zabaglione
light foamy custard-like dessert served hot or chilled
raw vegetables cut into bite-sized strips and served with a dip
mold, mould
a dish or dessert that is formed in or on a mold
Type of:
aliment, alimentation, nourishment, nutriment, nutrition, sustenance, victuals
a source of materials to nourish the body

n (construction) a layer of masonry

“a course of bricks”
damp course, damp-proof course
a course of some impermeable material laid in the foundation walls of building near the ground to prevent dampness from rising into the building
row of bricks
a course of bricks place next to each other (usually in a straight line)
Type of:
bed, layer
single thickness of usually some homogeneous substance

v hunt with hounds

“He often courses hares”
Type of:
hunt, hunt down, run, track down
pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)

adv as might be expected

naturally, of course
in a manner at variance with what is natural or normal

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