Definition of course in English:

course

noun

  • 1The route or direction followed by a ship, aircraft, road, or river.

    ‘the road adopts a tortuous course along the coast’
    ‘the new fleet changed course to join the other ships’
    • ‘When cities were built close to the river, some of the streets followed the courses of the creeks and streams that fed the river.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you could hire a bike and follow the course of the River Loir from Vendome to its confluence with the Sarthe.’
    • ‘One example of this is the Huanhe Road project that is to follow the course of the Xindian River in Taipei County.’
    • ‘Hence, it is reasonable to assume that they change their orientation to more southeasterly courses along the routes.’
    • ‘In other areas, rivers will appear and disappear along their course as they find the easiest route to the sea.’
    • ‘We took off, the bus bumping along the rough coast road, charting a course due north in the late afternoon sun.’
    • ‘The sun and wind shower their might along the course of the river making their task of drying the clothes easier.’
    • ‘Ur ceased to exist in the 4th century BC, probably because the River Euphrates changed course.’
    • ‘These unknown areas were often divided by straight lines or the course of a river or a watershed.’
    • ‘Middle Head Road and Peat Road, both tracks, respectively parallel and cross the course of a Roman road.’
    • ‘It has been said that the course of a winding river is just like the tortuous path life sometimes takes.’
    • ‘In other words, the flight paths of aircraft on a collision course are also shown in green.’
    • ‘It is true that present-day river courses are not wholly natural.’
    • ‘After briefings and an exchange of stores, both ships continued their respective courses with a wave and a toot goodbye.’
    • ‘These are surface diamonds, washed along the course of rivers over millions of years.’
    • ‘At its most basic, canyoning is following a river along its course through a gulley.’
    • ‘The ships then maintain parallel courses while the fuel is pumped - an operation which requires a high degree of seamanship.’
    • ‘A distant sweep of pink sand marks the course of a seasonal river, Wadi Kutum.’
    • ‘And by far the best way to enjoy it is to hire a cabin cruiser and chart a course along its winding length.’
    route, way, track, direction, tack, path, line, journey, itinerary, channel, trail, trajectory, flight path, bearing, heading, orbit, circuit, beat, round, run
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The way in which something progresses or develops.
      ‘the course of history’
      • ‘However, pursuit of such a course can only lead to dependency and loss of control.’
      • ‘He vows to defy the logic of time and arrange the course of history according to his liking.’
      • ‘Secondly, Honda will push along its development over the course of a season, so it is constantly improving.’
      • ‘How do you feel about how Irish cinema has developed over the course of your career?’
      • ‘It has characters that are compelling, sympathetic and which develop over the course of the plot.’
      • ‘The human race is on a course of discovering a new and unknown power hidden within.’
      • ‘These extinctions become a problem to solve rather than the natural course of things.’
      • ‘Once respiratory or renal disease develops, the course is usually rapidly progressive.’
      • ‘We'll of course be back to you if any developments occur during the course of this program.’
      • ‘Labor believes that the true course for world progress lies in it being run cooperatively.’
      • ‘Postoperatively, the patient's course was unremarkable.’
      progression, development, progress, advance, advancement, evolution, unfolding, flow, movement, continuity, sequence, order, succession, rise, march, furtherance, forwarding, proceeding
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    2. 1.2count noun A procedure adopted to deal with a situation.
      ‘my decision had seemed to be the wisest course open to me at the time’
      • ‘These emotions handcuff you to a particular course of action that you would rather not carry out.’
      • ‘We only ever take parents to court as a last resort and it is not a course of action we take lightly and one which we would rather avoid.’
      • ‘Hopefuly, I have explained why option four was the only practical course of action.’
      • ‘They point out that there is often a high chance of an adverse event no matter what course is pursued.’
      • ‘He was not limited to those courses of action which would be open to a court in litigation.’
      • ‘Are we to regard that as a tacit seal of approval for such a course of action?’
      • ‘It isn't enough anymore to think outside the box - you have to back it up with winning strategies and specific courses of action.’
      • ‘I will not pretend to have the skill necessary to lay out a course of action to solve this problem.’
      • ‘The brief which finally reaches the minister will list the pros and cons of various courses of action on a policy and the top paper will contain a recommendation.’
      • ‘We are trying to avoid the word policy, that commits us down a certain course of action.’
      • ‘To reject a course of action as clearly undesirable is to reject it on practical grounds.’
      • ‘They can advise on the best course of action and can even arrange for an ambulance to be sent if it is needed.’
      • ‘We must always ask what harm we are doing by taking a particular course of action.’
      • ‘After contemplating many dreadful acts, he finally decided on a course of action.’
      • ‘The concept of policy assumes that governments define their goals and choose the methods and courses of action for reaching those goals.’
      • ‘An osteopath will review the individual's health first before advising on a course of action.’
      • ‘The central issue in the case is whether that was a justified course of action.’
      • ‘Both courses of action are preferable to stocking up piles of atomic waste.’
      • ‘Certainly topping up on any index tracker investment would be a good course of action at the moment.’
      • ‘First, what courses of action are open to us, and what are their likely consequences.’
      plan, plan of action, course of action, method of working, mo, line of action, process, procedure, practice, approach, technique, style, manner, way, means, mode of behaviour, mode of conduct, methodology, system, policy, strategy, programme, formula, regimen
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  • 2A dish, or a set of dishes served together, forming one of the successive parts of a meal.

    ‘guests are offered a choice of main course’
    in combination ‘a four-course meal’
    • ‘Instead of serving dishes in courses, a Thai meal is served all at once, permitting dinners to enjoy complementary combinations of different tastes.’
    • ‘Dinner was equally large, with numerous dishes served during each course.’
    • ‘The ‘rhumb’ lines that criss-cross the map are designed to aid compass bearings, allowing navigators to sail reasonably accurate courses.’
    • ‘On the Sunday evening after the competition was over, a 3 course meal was served.’
    • ‘The meal came in courses accompanied by wine from bottles - the sort that need corkscrews, not twist tops - and with real knives and forks.’
    • ‘Serve it as a breakfast in bed, a brunch dish, a first course, or as a special supper with a glass of champagne.’
    • ‘As they were having lobster and langoustine, respectively, for their first courses and beef for their mains, I suggested that a red Burgundy might be a better one-stop choice.’
    • ‘Pita meat pie often is the final course of a meal or is served as a light supper on its own.’
    • ‘Rabbit stewed in wine is a specialty, often with some of its sauce served over pasta as a first course.’
    • ‘Even without the filling soup as a first course, the T-bone steak and salad had been an excellent meal.’
    • ‘The dining room was dolled up like a palace and they served an eighty course meal.’
    • ‘It was a fixed menu, dish after dish, five courses - soup, main course, salad, dessert, and beverage.’
    • ‘The maid came in and took away the soup and salad courses.’
    • ‘This will be great served as a first course, or as a side to duck or game.’
    • ‘I shuddered at the thought of a three course meal filled with dumplings, bread and cheese.’
    • ‘The Japanese, like most other Asians, do not usually serve meals in courses but set all the dishes on the table at the start of the meal.’
    • ‘If you do the math, I think it will fall a little short but that's only because some of the courses were served at the same time.’
    • ‘It was a communal experience, as everyone was served the same courses at the same time, and it felt more like a party than a meal.’
    • ‘Fantastic food although quite expensive unless you eat early when they serve two courses for under £9.’
    • ‘The final dish in the eight course evening was a Campari parfait served with orange ragout.’
    • ‘Lunches tend to be lengthy with several courses served because the noon meal is the main meal of the day.’
    dish, menu item
    View synonyms
  • 3An area of land set aside and prepared for racing, golf, or another sport.

    • ‘It was a wise decision, as the course was well prepared with consistent greens and good fairways.’
    • ‘As managers, golf course superintendents have to deal with trust at every level.’
    • ‘Have you ever tried to play golf on a course where there were more than a few annoying insects?’
    • ‘Previously it appeared that members would gain £4000 each from sale of the course as a racing concern.’
    • ‘The weather gods were unkind making the course unpleasant in certain areas.’
    • ‘The more spectacular slalom racing will take place on an artificial course at the Olympic Complex.’
    • ‘Clearly, he enjoys the course, even the rather silly island green at the notorious 17th hole.’
    • ‘‘Our priority is to ensure that racing fans are able to turn on their television sets and watch a wide selection of racing from courses across Britain,’ he said.’
    • ‘The course was on land reclaimed from the old British Steel works.’
    • ‘They use another service for showing races but have their own racing presenters on the course.’
    • ‘Conditions were fine for golf and the course was beautifully prepared.’
    • ‘The $3-a-person game simulates real courses, with wind factors and club choices.’
    • ‘We got by, however, and proceeded to get onto a great course and play good golf with winners.’
    • ‘The course was playing good and true and the weather could not be better.’
    • ‘Graphics have been sharpened slightly, but the racing courses are the same, and with minor exceptions, so are the vehicles.’
    • ‘One of the benefits of playing golf at new courses are the ideas you pick up.’
    • ‘While they want to incorporate some sightseeing into the trip, they have specified a minimum of four rounds of golf at leading courses in the chosen area.’
    • ‘The main event will include pistol, rifle and sporting clay courses.’
    • ‘Outside the golf club members were working hard to prepare the course for open week.’
    • ‘It is a full service shotgun complex with two fully automated sporting clays courses, and golf carts are included.’
    track, racetrack, racecourse, circuit, ground, stadium, speedway, velodrome, route, trail
    View synonyms
  • 4A series of lectures or lessons in a particular subject, leading to an examination or qualification.

    ‘a business studies course’
    • ‘This information, while useful in upgrading the college courses, only indirectly affected the high school courses.’
    • ‘The new master's program has a set curriculum with no elective courses.’
    • ‘This could occur in small groups in teacher education courses or in large class discussions.’
    • ‘Because on-site attendance can be impossible for those living far away, numerous schools and educators offer distance learning courses.’
    • ‘The summer school will include courses on a range of subjects as well as outings and recreational activities.’
    • ‘Only dual enrollment mathematics courses taught on high school campuses are included in the study.’
    • ‘The internet based company develops internet continuing education courses and distance learning on their web site, with almost all the specialties.’
    • ‘Initially, the vocational training center will mainly provide training courses for vocational school teachers.’
    • ‘Many of the sites offered community college credit for courses taken as part of a high school diploma.’
    • ‘True revision is only possible if you have studied the subject conscientiously throughout your course.’
    • ‘His research shows that 82 percent of students taking distance learning courses are either local or on-campus.’
    • ‘Tibetan communities made efforts to teach more subject courses in Tibetan in primary and secondary schools.’
    • ‘More math and reading courses for elementary school teachers were mandated.’
    • ‘The center offers research fellowships, courses, lecture series, conferences, and publications.’
    • ‘Without textbooks in minority languages, schools were more likely to offer subject courses in Chinese.’
    • ‘While aspects of the curriculum can be assessed in the written examination, courses of study in each school reflect the whole curriculum.’
    • ‘The project also will test use of the Web to provide science lab courses to high schools.’
    • ‘I've had students write me telling me that they used one of my courses in high school.’
    • ‘The school's academic courses include Chinese language lessons taught by professors from China, night classes for adults, and computer lessons.’
    • ‘The figures relate to primary and secondary postgraduate teacher training courses for all subjects.’
    programme of study, course of study, educational programme, set of lectures, curriculum, syllabus, schedule
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    1. 4.1Medicine A series of repeated treatments or doses of medication.
      ‘the doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics’
      • ‘A repeat course of antibiotics at a later date to keep the condition under control.’
      • ‘A recurrence followed his initial recovery, and he needed a repeat course of treatment.’
      • ‘First dose reactions occur after the first dose of a course of treatment and not necessarily thereafter.’
      • ‘Initial treatment should be medical with a course of antibiotics of at least two weeks duration.’
      • ‘Most clinical trials have used 10-to 14-day courses of antibiotic therapy.’
      programme, series, sequence, system, schedule, regimen
      View synonyms
    2. 4.2Bell-ringing A series of changes which brings the bells back to their original order, or the changes of a particular bell.
  • 5A continuous horizontal layer of brick, stone, or other material in a wall.

    • ‘The effect of height of a temple till now was mitigated and compromised by the horizontal courses of stone used for construction.’
    • ‘The wall was built in regular horizontal courses bonded by mud mortar.’
    • ‘One face of the double-sided fireplace features two courses of light buff brick alternating with a single, inset course of red bricks.’
    • ‘Without mortar, lay two courses of brick to help determine the size of your barbecue.’
    • ‘The courses are horizontal, but the stones are not all of uniform height or width, and in some cases two stones are placed one on top of the other to maintain the height.’
    • ‘A continuous render is taken up the sides and over the top of the core material of a wall, the core material being some three courses of mud bricks about forty centimetres high.’
    layer, thickness, stratum, seam, vein, band, bed
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  • 6A pursuit of game (especially hares) with greyhounds by sight rather than scent.

    pursuit, hunt, trail
    View synonyms
  • 7A sail on the lowest yards of a square-rigged ship.

    • ‘Next we had to set the course sail, the top sail of the forward mast, then the foresails out over the bowsprit.’
  • 8A set of adjacent strings on a guitar, lute, etc., tuned to the same note.

    • ‘The early lute was played with a plectrum and had four double courses of strings; during the 15th century a fifth course was added.’
    • ‘The kanoun is a large zither, often with 70 to 100 strings arranged in courses of three.’

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction (of liquid) move without obstruction; flow.

    ‘tears were coursing down her cheeks’
    figurative ‘exultation coursed through him’
    • ‘The warm liquid coursed down her throat, calming the fear she felt.’
    • ‘Even writing that I can feel a little adrenaline rush coursing through my veins.’
    • ‘Water coursed through the empty gullies, filling oceans, creating islands, lapping up on sand and rocks, and hosting a new swarm of creatures.’
    • ‘But a fallen power line or nearby lightning strike can easily overwhelm the power supply and send a mortal surge of electricity coursing through your motherboard.’
    • ‘She cried, tears coursing down her cheeks, mingled with the rain.’
    • ‘I took the opportunity to glance at her, and noticed tears coursing down her cheeks.’
    • ‘The start of the main race was delayed after a thunderstorm hit the circuit, causing heavy flooding, with water coursing across the track in several places.’
    • ‘It felt like my entire right side had been blown off, and every breath sent liquid fire coursing through every vein.’
    • ‘Water coursed from his hair, to his neck, and to his toes in tiny rivulets.’
    • ‘She turned and ran as fast as she could, trying all the while to control the stream of tears coursing down her cheeks.’
    • ‘Power coursed like liquid fire through my veins, as my adrenaline spiked and I screamed in pain.’
    • ‘Cassandra merely stayed where she was, unable to move as the pain coursed through her body.’
    • ‘I was determined to catch some of the big trout I could see in the clear streams that coursed down each valley floor.’
    • ‘The tears flowed freely now, coursing down my cheeks and soaking into her tank top as she cradled my head with one arm and encircled my waist with the other.’
    • ‘I nodded; tears were still coursing down my cheeks.’
    • ‘As water coursed through houses and shops, stock and belongings were swept out; mud and rubbish were swept in.’
    • ‘Once the dam's stored waters coursed into the valley, a bucolic canal culture blossomed.’
    • ‘When I could stand it no longer, I buried my head in my arms, and the tears began coursing down my cheeks; though I felt none of the usual relief crying brings.’
    • ‘My father may have been in the merchant navy, but that doesn't mean there's salt water coursing through my veins.’
    • ‘Nikolas closed his eyes as the spray of water coursed down his body.’
    flow, pour, race, stream, run, rush, gush, pump, move, cascade, flood, surge, sweep, roll
    View synonyms
  • 2with object Pursue (game, especially hares) with greyhounds using sight rather than scent.

    ‘many of the hares coursed escaped unharmed’
    no object ‘she would course for hares with her greyhounds’
    • ‘True: but we have all seen photographs of beings in rapid motion - horses racing, greyhounds coursing a hare, men running over a field, and so on.’
    • ‘The farmer thought they were coursing hares and called police.’
    • ‘He is too fast to be coursed in sight, and is hunted by scent, which varies with temperature, climate and soil.’
    hunt, chase, pursue, stalk, run down, run after, give chase to, follow, track, trail, shadow, hound, dog
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • course of action

    • see course (sense 1 of the noun)
      • ‘The prospect of ministers sharing in the financial pain may help the Tories sell such a course of action.’
      • ‘The only course of action is to persuade him to resign or to hold a primary.’
      • ‘The suggested course of action makes no sense, constitutionally, politically or practically.’
      • ‘The hospital was waiting for tests to reveal the cause of the illness, allowing doctors to then determine the best course of action.’
      • ‘Every course of action we evaluated had multiple ramifications.’
      • ‘Both courses of action further reduce the ability of the state to command the sort of revenue stream it previously enjoyed.’
      • ‘His doctor can think of no other course of action at the moment.’
      • ‘Admittedly this is an unusual course of action for a federal agency.’
      • ‘With any course of action there is a desired or anticipated outcome.’
      • ‘Upon receiving this assessment the parties can decide what their respective future course of action will be.’
  • the course of nature

    • Events or processes which are normal and to be expected.

      ‘each man would, in the course of nature, have his private opinions’
      • ‘That the earth was created due to a huge cosmic explosion and life evolved by the course of nature.’
      • ‘As a result of this tampering with the course of nature, water has entered several residential colonies, forcing the people to stay indoors, during the last spell of rain, he adds.’
      • ‘First, on account of the variation in the course of nature, on which we marvel.’
      • ‘I never thought we needed it but it has changed the course of nature.’
      • ‘For this reason, Ockham shifted emphasis on simplicity from the course of nature to theories which are formulated about it.’
      • ‘Usually she accepted the course of nature, but giant slugs she didn't consider natural.’
      • ‘No causal study could rule out the possibility that its results were not due directly it interfering with the course of nature.’
      • ‘I would say that the course of nature dictates, all right?’
      • ‘If this project is carried out on a large scale, it will add up to a massive amount of human alteration of the course of nature.’
      • ‘Are they to rely on the course of nature - an uncontrollable voice and unexpected hair growth to be the only sign of impending adulthood?’
  • in (the) course of ——

    • 1Undergoing the specified process.

      ‘a new text book was in course of preparation’
      • ‘It is prohibited to burn vegetation between the 1st of March and the 31st of August growing on any land which is at the time not cultivated or not in course of cultivation for agriculture or forestry.’
      • ‘Suppose that the same gene produces many processed pseudogenes in the course of its evolution.’
      • ‘It therefore refers to what is aleatory, temporal and in course of development.’
      • ‘The plans for the new station are in course of preparation, but nothing definite has been decided in this connection pending the formation of the new terminal company.’
      • ‘When this judgment was in course of preparation counsel drew my attention to three additional cases.’
      • ‘Single monomers undergo conformational changes in the course of the simulation.’
      • ‘The quality and degree of validation of decisions determine employment efficiency, cost and operational characteristics of the Air Force in course of development.’
      • ‘The objection to the application was made by the man who was appointed manager of the establishment when it was in course of construction.’
      • ‘The company continued to invest in fleet upgrading with 40 new vehicles delivered during the year and a further 38 vehicles in course of delivery this month.’
      • ‘We all go through this process, and in the course of it we lose the ability just to be ourselves.’
    • 2During the specified period or activity.

      ‘he was a friend to many people in the course of his life’
      • ‘A series of political crises in the course of this period mark the decay of the old bourgeois-democratic framework.’
      • ‘Research is needed to refine the interventions so they better address different types of families, in different situations, and at different points in course of illness.’
      • ‘Only gradually in the course of this period were polities defined in clear terms of territory and explicit geographical sensibility.’
      • ‘Two years passed and I hadn't seen the boy more than five times in the course of that period.’
      • ‘Many of the children read over 20 books in the course of a four week period.’
      • ‘How, then did the natural environment change in the course of this period?’
      • ‘In course of their progress to the finals, some excellent matches were played.’
      • ‘Some natural mechanism for protection from light-induced damages should exist, since the eye developed in course of evolution under relatively stable conditions of lighting.’
      • ‘That is indisputable, nevertheless, in the course of this period many battles took place.’
      • ‘This happened as the draft Broadcasting Bill made its way through Parliament in the course of 1980.’
      duration, passing, passage, lapse, period, term, span, spell, sweep
      View synonyms
  • in (or over) the course of time

    • As time goes by.

      ‘the property will deteriorate in the course of time’
      • ‘The nature of that support is the matter of ongoing discussions and it's too soon to speculate about what it might develop into in the course of time.’
      • ‘However in the course of time, gold has become the preferred metal for use in hand wrought jewellery.’
      • ‘He said people should encourage musicians to render new keertanas so that they too became popular in the course of time.’
      • ‘Those who have studied this worldwide problem say that ‘continuous exposure’ to 85 decibels of noise will, in course of time, damage hearing ability.’
      • ‘This is a topic which I will return to in the course of time, when I shall use the evidence presented in this book to discuss one key decision that writers have to make.’
  • of course

    • 1Used to introduce an idea or action as being obvious or to be expected.

      ‘the point is of course that the puzzle itself is misleading’
      • ‘It is, of course, obvious that it is not only actions that are bound to succeed that have a value.’
      • ‘The most obvious way of dealing with the waste is of course not to produce it in the first place.’
      • ‘This all seemed a great idea in principle but of course the numbers don't work.’
      • ‘The only problem, of course, is that it's never a good idea to use a genius as your warm-up act.’
      • ‘Many improvements were made, of course, but the idea remained remarkably the same.’
      • ‘Assuming, of course, they were ever really expected to be taking part in the first place.’
      • ‘Older people cannot, of course, be expected to know what they might care to do with their time.’
      • ‘It is, of course, obvious that such an approach is predicated on the lawfulness of the policy.’
      • ‘This of course entails the idea that the ruling ideology doesn't take itself seriously.’
      • ‘It is expected of them, of course, and most of the time it is pretty tedious stuff.’
      naturally, as might be expected, as one would expect, as you would expect, needless to say, not unexpectedly, certainly, to be sure, as was anticipated, as a matter of course
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Used to give or emphasize agreement or permission.
        ‘‘Can I see you for a minute?’ ‘Of course.’’
        • ‘Oh yes, sure I got messages from others, and of course I was ecstatic to hear from them.’
        • ‘There is no doubt that we want to do well and of course we will try and win the championship if that is possible.’
        yes, certainly, definitely, absolutely, by all means, with pleasure
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2Introducing a qualification or admission.
        ‘of course we've been in touch by phone, but I wanted to see things for myself’
        • ‘Hope you enjoy this so far, of course I am very critical so have no idea how good this actually is.’
        • ‘My solicitors have indeed attended today, although of course they are not legal aided at all.’
        • ‘This is all very positive for me, of course, but it is also good for the team.’
        • ‘They must have thought we were on a pleasure cruise, and of course in lots of ways we were.’
        • ‘That's assuming that blogging and the column both last another year of course.’
        • ‘Oh, of course, he had invited me to tea, but been asked out himself, and forgotten all about me.’
        yes, certainly, definitely, absolutely, by all means, with pleasure
        View synonyms
  • off course

    • Not following the intended route.

      ‘the car went careering off course’
      • ‘Two years into the century it seems we are still a long way off course.’
      • ‘I told him we not only were off course, but that we were on the wrong route.’
      • ‘That way when the car goes a little off course, it could just bounce right back in and continue merrily on its way.’
      • ‘A difficult course to make, with the choppy cross seas that are continuously trying to knock us off course.’
      • ‘A knee injury, a doping ban and problems with his former team all combined to knock his career off course.’
      • ‘It was meant to be a routine flight, but the plane ended up 2000 km off course.’
      • ‘That's when we veered off course and nose-dived thousands of feet.’
      • ‘If we are not careful, all the words that follow people, politics, and power can take us off course.’
      • ‘Storm and winds can buffet you off course, you may be injured, tire, fall behind, drop and die.’
      • ‘An arrow that spins less will not cut through the air the same and it will drift further off course.’
      lost, off course, off track, off the right track, having lost one's bearings, disorientated, disoriented, confused, bewildered, at sea, all at sea
      wrong, mistaken, inaccurate, wide of the mark, off target, awry, amiss, astray, off course, off the right track
      View synonyms
  • on course

    • 1Following the intended route.

      ‘he battled to keep the ship on course’
      figurative ‘we need to spend money to get the economy back on course’
      • ‘We can definitely find a modern and progressive form of governance by staying on course towards the right.’
      • ‘It is evident that it's going to take a while to achieve our objective, but we're on course.’
      • ‘When he rolled the racer back on course the ship flipped over on its back and dove into the ground.’
      • ‘But the messy bit was quick and we were on course and on track and pasture to a back road, only one car came by.’
      • ‘Occasionally, foreign flagged ships radio asking for directions to get back on course.’
      • ‘The company is in the third year, and is said to be well on course with its targets.’
      • ‘The real challenge is the capacity to assess where we are, where we have gone off track and to get things back on course.’
      • ‘We were on course now, following the postage stamp sign and heading straight for the museum.’
      • ‘The wound was slow to heal in the months that followed but within a year they were back on course.’
      • ‘I think I'm on course in my career and, as I said, this is when I thought I'd start to deliver anyway.’
      on target, on schedule, on time
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Likely to achieve something.
        ‘he was on course for victory’
        • ‘At 17, and with a three handicap, he is well on course to achieve his dream of becoming a professional.’
        • ‘The company was now on course to make profits of £400m in the full year.’
        • ‘It had been a devastating blow: until that moment she had been more than five days ahead of schedule and on course to smash the record.’
        • ‘Earlier they seemed on course to continue their serene progress.’
        • ‘So far this year, 27 members have passed, putting the group on course to achieve its target.’
        • ‘House prices are on course to outpace shares again this year.’
        • ‘He predicts that the group is already on course to achieve £8.5m profits in the current financial year.’
        • ‘Only two letters of objection were received, and the council is now on course to build the £3,500 shelter.’
        • ‘Melanoma rates are on course to treble over the next 30 years, unless sunbathing trends are reversed.’
        • ‘It appears that they are on course to achieve their goal, but one year later than planned.’
        on track, on target, on schedule
        View synonyms
  • run (or take) its course

    • Complete its natural development without interference.

      ‘his illness had to run its course to the crisis’
      • ‘We have the right to say ‘enough,’ and let the natural dying process take its course.’
      • ‘What about brushing one's teeth, as opposed to letting natural tooth decay take its course?’
      • ‘And I actually forced myself to eat, which of course, was a mistake, and nature took its course on that one.’
      • ‘There is no specific treatment for the virus and patients are given plenty of fluids until the illness runs its course.’
      • ‘He has had three or four relationships since, but they simply ran their course rather than being destroyed by what happened to him.’
      • ‘But as the progressiveness of the illness takes its course, they will not be able to hide it.’
      • ‘They were an old race, many millennia having given natural selection time to run its course.’
      • ‘He believed that natural justice was taking its course and judicial fairness, according to common law, would be afforded.’
      • ‘As the light faded and the storm ran its course, she was forced to turn on the lamps in the room.’
      • ‘All this amounts to gross interference with the investigation and prevents law from taking its course.’
      come to an end, cease to exist, fade, fade away, melt away, blow over, run its course, ebb, die out, evaporate, vanish, peter out, draw to a close, disappear, finish, end, cease, terminate
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Origin

Middle English: from Old French cours, from Latin cursus, from curs- ‘run’, from the verb currere.

Pronunciation

course

/kɔːs/