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Usage statistics for the noun course:

spoken English38.99%written English61.01% conversational speech20.69%task-oriented speech79.31% imaginative writing20.39%informational writing79.61%
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Course is sometimes a misspelling of cause, coarse or courses.

The word course is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: Healthy retired couple steering a course aboard their luxury sailing boat
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Definition of the noun course

What does course mean as a name of something?

Course is one of the top 1000 most common nouns. It is used mostly in informational writing, being one of the top 100 most common nouns in informational written English.View more statistics!

noun - plural: courses

  1. education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings
  2. a connected series of events or actions or developments
    • example: the government took a firm course
    • lexical domain: Groups - nouns denoting groupings of people or objects
    • synonym of course: line
    • more generic word: series = similar things placed in order or happening one after another
    • more specific words: current / stream / flow = dominant course (suggestive of running water) of successive events or ideas
  3. general line of orientation
    • example: the river takes a southern course
    • lexical domain: Locations - nouns denoting spatial position
    • synonym of course: trend
    • more generic words: direction / way = a line leading to a place or point
  4. a mode of action
    • examples: 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
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of course: course of action
    • more generic word: action = something done
    • more specific terms:
      • blind alley = 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
      • way of life / path / way = a course of conduct
  5. a line or route along which something travels or moves
    • example: the course of the river
    • lexical domain: Natural Objects - nouns denoting natural objects (not man-made)
    • synonyms of course: path / track
    • more generic word: line = a spatial location defined by a real or imaginary unidimensional extent
    • more specific terms:
      • 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
      • round = the course along which communications spread
      • steps = the course along which a person has walked or is walking in
      • swath / belt = a path or strip
      • trail = a track or mark left by something that has passed
  6. a body of students who are taught together
    • lexical domain: Groups - nouns denoting groupings of people or objects
    • synonyms of course: class / form / grade
    • more generic words: assemblage / gathering = a group of persons together in one place
    • more specific terms:
      • 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
  7. part of a meal served at one time
  8. (construction) a layer of masonry
    • example: a course of bricks
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonym of course: row
    • more generic words: bed / layer = single thickness of usually some homogeneous substance
    • more specific terms:
      • damp-proof course / damp 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
    • part of: wall = an architectural partition with a height and length greater than its thickness
  9. facility consisting of a circumscribed area of land or water laid out for a sport
    • examples: the course had only nine holes | the course was less than a mile
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic words: facility / installation = a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a particular industry
    • more specific terms:

Alternative definition of the noun course


  1. A path, sequence, development, or evolution.
  2. A normal or customary sequence.
  3. A chosen manner of proceeding.
  4. Any ordered process or sequence or steps
  5. A learning program, as in a school.
  6. [context: especially in medicine] A treatment plan
  7. The itinerary of a race.
  8. A racecourse.
  9. A part of a meal.
  10. The path taken by a flow of water; a watercourse.
  11. [sports] The trajectory of a ball, frisbee etc.
  12. [nautical] The direction of movement of a vessel at any given moment.
  13. [navigation] The intended passage of voyage, such as a boat, ship, airplane, spaceship, etc.
  14. [nautical] The lowest square sail in a fully rigged mast, often named according to the mast.
  15. [context: masonry] A row of bricks or blocks.
  16. [roofing] A row of material that forms the roofing, waterproofing or flashing system.
  17. [textiles] In weft knitting, a single row of loops connecting the loops of the preceding and following rows.
  18. [music] A string on a lute
  19. [golf] A golf course.

Specialised definition of the noun course

Glossary of sports

an area where a race is run or where a sport in which players progress over the area is played (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

marked path for competitions held in running and racing disciplines, e.g. in automobile sport, skiing, bicycle racing, and equestrian. In sailing the course represents the direction of movement in degrees on the magnetic compass. (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

Glossary of sports / dog racing

the race's distance

Glossary of sports / golf

the entire playing area for a round or match, usually comprising 9 or 18 holes, each of which has a teeing ground, a fairway, and a green

Glossary of sports / rowing

a straight area in the water, typically 4 to 8 lanes wide, for rowing competition. The standard Olympic course is 2,000 meters long

Definition of the adverb course

What does course mean as an attribute of something other than a noun?


  1. as might be expected

Definition of the verb course

What does course mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: coursed | coursing | courses

  1. move swiftly through or over
  2. move along, of liquids
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • synonyms of course: feed / flow / run
    • more generic word: move = move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
    • more specific terms:
  3. hunt with hounds

Alternative definition of the verb course


  1. To run or flow (especially of liquids and more particularly blood).
  2. To pursue by tracking or estimating the course taken by one's prey.


Course a.k.a. The Course were a dance music act from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. It consisted of DJ/producer Vincent Hendriks and vocalists Dewi Lopulalan and Irma Derby. They achieved their biggest commercial success in 1997.


  1. "Course" is a composition.
  2. "Course" a.k.a. "Warming Up" is a composition.


"Course" is a video game.

  • genre: Action game
  • publishers: Code Works, The


  1. Course: In navigation, a vehicle's course is the angle that the intended path of the vehicle makes with a fixed reference object. Typically course is measured in degrees from 0° clockwise to 360° in compass convention. Course is customarily expressed in three digits, using preliminary zeros if needed, e.g. 058°.
  2. Course: In higher education in Canada and the United States, a course is a unit of teaching that typically lasts one academic term, is led by one or more instructors, and has a fixed roster of students. It is usually an individual subject. Students may receive a grade and academic credit after completion of the course.
  3. Course: A course, on a stringed musical instrument, is two or more adjacent strings that are closely spaced relative to the other strings, and typically played as a single string. The strings in each course are typically tuned in unison or an octave. Course may also refer to a single string normally played on its own on an instrument with other multi-string courses, for example the bass string on a nine string baroque guitar.
    • also known as 共振装置
  4. Course: In dining, a course is a specific set of food items that are served together during a meal, all at the same time. A course may include multiple dishes or only one, and often includes items with some variety of flavors. For instance, a hamburger served with fries would be considered a single course, and most likely the entire meal. Likewise, an extended banquet might include many courses, such as a course where a soup is served by itself, a course where cordon bleu is served at the same time as its garnish and perhaps a side dish, and later a dessert such as a pumpkin pie. Courses may vary in size as well as number depending on the culture where the meal takes place.
  5. Course: In medicine the term course generally takes one of two meanings, both reflecting the sense of "path that something or someone moves along...
  6. Course: An orienteering course is composed of a start point, a series of control points, and a finish point. Controls are marked with a white and orange flag in the terrain, and corresponding purple symbols on an orienteering map. The challenge is to complete the course by visiting all control points in the shortest possible time, aided only by the map and a compass.
  7. Course: In sailing, a course is the lowermost sail on a mast.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Course

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewFood and Drink in American History (2013)

A "Full Course" Encyclopedia by Andrew F. Smith

A "Full Course" Encyclopedia Andrew F. Smith. Cabbage Cabbage (Brassica oleracea Capitata group) is a leafy green vegetable related to broccoli, brussels sprout, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and kohlrabi that originated in Europe.

Google previewThe London encyclopaedia, or, Universal dictionary of science, art, literature, and practical mechanics, by the orig. ed. of the Encyclopaedia metropolitana [T. Curtis]. (1839)

by Thomas Curtis (of Grove house sch, Islington)

the compass course from it is S. S. W., and one point three-quarters west variation being allowed to the left makes the true course S. J W., and the distance is fifteen miles. The second ...

Google previewLondon Encyclopaedia; Or, Universal Dictionary of Science, Art, Literature and Practical Mechanics (1829)

Comprising a Popular View of the Present State of Knowledge

Course. Dist, Diff. Lat. Dep. Long, in Bearing and Dist. Porto Sancto. As Cape Finisterre on taking the departure bears N.N.E., the compass course from it is S. S. W., and one point three-quarters west variation being allowed to ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Women and Gender

For example, consider course enrollment decisions. The model predicts that people will be most likely to enroll in courses that ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Epidemiology (2014)

by Miquel Porta

LIFE COURSE The natural history of human life. A term for conditions that evolve over a large part or all of the life span from infancy, or even from conception, through adolescence, ...

Google previewHistorical Dictionary of New Age Movements (2004)

by Michael York

-A- A COURSE IN MIRACLES. The most complete presentation of New Thought metaphysics. It says in summary: "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God." Miracle Experiences, Inc., was founded in ...

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of the World's Special Forces (2014)

Tactics, History, Strategy, Weapons by Mike Ryan, Chris Mann, Alexander Stilwell

Assignmentto1st SFODD involves anextensive prescreening process, successful completionof a3to 4week mentallyand physically demanding Assessmentand Selection Course,and a6month operator trainingcourse. Upon successful ...

Google previewThe Edinburgh Gazetteer, Or Geographical Dictionary ... (1822)

Accompanied by an Atlas

and secure course to the island of St Helena; but if, from any oversight, they have passed that small spot, for even the shortest distance, to reach it is nearly impossible. In sailing outwards, the navigators never attempt this route, but steer ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Course

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Usage statistics about course

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the noun course:

spoken English38.99%written English61.01% conversational speech20.69%task-oriented speech79.31% imaginative writing20.39%informational writing79.61%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun course:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb course:


Photos about Course

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Video language resources about Course

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Sign language

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Quotes about Course


I am a fool of course
Living for the illusion
Of my own greatness
When all the evidence
Teaches how not great
I am.

I am a fool of course
And will die a fool
But what else could I have been
Given what I am? (Shalom Freedman)
more quotes about course...

Scrabble value of C3O1U1R1S1E1

The value of this 6-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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