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’
    • ‘The ships then maintain parallel courses while the fuel is pumped - an operation which requires a high degree of seamanship.’
    • ‘At its most basic, canyoning is following a river along its course through a gulley.’
    • ‘One example of this is the Huanhe Road project that is to follow the course of the Xindian River in Taipei County.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you could hire a bike and follow the course of the River Loir from Vendome to its confluence with the Sarthe.’
    • ‘Hence, it is reasonable to assume that they change their orientation to more southeasterly courses along the routes.’
    • ‘When cities were built close to the river, some of the streets followed the courses of the creeks and streams that fed the river.’
    • ‘A distant sweep of pink sand marks the course of a seasonal river, Wadi Kutum.’
    • ‘After briefings and an exchange of stores, both ships continued their respective courses with a wave and a toot goodbye.’
    • ‘In other areas, rivers will appear and disappear along their course as they find the easiest route to the sea.’
    • ‘Ur ceased to exist in the 4th century BC, probably because the River Euphrates changed course.’
    • ‘These are surface diamonds, washed along the course of rivers over millions of years.’
    • ‘And by far the best way to enjoy it is to hire a cabin cruiser and chart a course along its winding length.’
    • ‘The sun and wind shower their might along the course of the river making their task of drying the clothes easier.’
    • ‘We took off, the bus bumping along the rough coast road, charting a course due north in the late afternoon sun.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Middle Head Road and Peat Road, both tracks, respectively parallel and cross the course of a Roman road.’
    • ‘These unknown areas were often divided by straight lines or the course of a river or a watershed.’
    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’
      • ‘He vows to defy the logic of time and arrange the course of history according to his liking.’
      • ‘The human race is on a course of discovering a new and unknown power hidden within.’
      • ‘We'll of course be back to you if any developments occur during the course of this program.’
      • ‘Secondly, Honda will push along its development over the course of a season, so it is constantly improving.’
      • ‘Once respiratory or renal disease develops, the course is usually rapidly progressive.’
      • ‘How do you feel about how Irish cinema has developed over the course of your career?’
      • ‘However, pursuit of such a course can only lead to dependency and loss of control.’
      • ‘Postoperatively, the patient's course was unremarkable.’
      • ‘These extinctions become a problem to solve rather than the natural course of things.’
      • ‘Labor believes that the true course for world progress lies in it being run cooperatively.’
      • ‘It has characters that are compelling, sympathetic and which develop over the course of the plot.’
      progression, development, progress, advance, advancement, evolution, unfolding, flow, movement, continuity, sequence, order, succession, rise, march, furtherance, forwarding, proceeding
      View synonyms
    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’
      • ‘It isn't enough anymore to think outside the box - you have to back it up with winning strategies and specific courses of action.’
      • ‘To reject a course of action as clearly undesirable is to reject it on practical grounds.’
      • ‘He was not limited to those courses of action which would be open to a court in litigation.’
      • ‘First, what courses of action are open to us, and what are their likely consequences.’
      • ‘Are we to regard that as a tacit seal of approval for such a course of action?’
      • ‘The central issue in the case is whether that was a justified course of action.’
      • ‘We are trying to avoid the word policy, that commits us down a certain course of action.’
      • ‘After contemplating many dreadful acts, he finally decided on a course of action.’
      • ‘These emotions handcuff you to a particular course of action that you would rather not carry out.’
      • ‘The concept of policy assumes that governments define their goals and choose the methods and courses of action for reaching those goals.’
      • ‘Hopefuly, I have explained why option four was the only practical course of action.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They can advise on the best course of action and can even arrange for an ambulance to be sent if it is needed.’
      • ‘I will not pretend to have the skill necessary to lay out a course of action to solve this problem.’
      • ‘Both courses of action are preferable to stocking up piles of atomic waste.’
      • ‘They point out that there is often a high chance of an adverse event no matter what course is pursued.’
      • ‘We must always ask what harm we are doing by taking a particular course of action.’
      • ‘Certainly topping up on any index tracker investment would be a good course of action at the moment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An osteopath will review the individual's health first before advising on a course of action.’
      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
      View synonyms
  • 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’
    • ‘Pita meat pie often is the final course of a meal or is served as a light supper on its own.’
    • ‘The meal came in courses accompanied by wine from bottles - the sort that need corkscrews, not twist tops - and with real knives and forks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ‘rhumb’ lines that criss-cross the map are designed to aid compass bearings, allowing navigators to sail reasonably accurate courses.’
    • ‘The dining room was dolled up like a palace and they served an eighty course meal.’
    • ‘Even without the filling soup as a first course, the T-bone steak and salad had been an excellent meal.’
    • ‘I shuddered at the thought of a three course meal filled with dumplings, bread and cheese.’
    • ‘Dinner was equally large, with numerous dishes served during each course.’
    • ‘Rabbit stewed in wine is a specialty, often with some of its sauce served over pasta as a first course.’
    • ‘It was a fixed menu, dish after dish, five courses - soup, main course, salad, dessert, and beverage.’
    • ‘The final dish in the eight course evening was a Campari parfait served with orange ragout.’
    • ‘This will be great served as a first course, or as a side to duck or game.’
    • ‘The maid came in and took away the soup and salad courses.’
    • ‘Fantastic food although quite expensive unless you eat early when they serve two courses for under £9.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Instead of serving dishes in courses, a Thai meal is served all at once, permitting dinners to enjoy complementary combinations of different tastes.’
    • ‘Lunches tend to be lengthy with several courses served because the noon meal is the main meal of the day.’
    • ‘On the Sunday evening after the competition was over, a 3 course meal was served.’
    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.’
    • ‘Conditions were fine for golf and the course was beautifully prepared.’
    • ‘One of the benefits of playing golf at new courses are the ideas you pick up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The main event will include pistol, rifle and sporting clay courses.’
    • ‘Previously it appeared that members would gain £4000 each from sale of the course as a racing concern.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As managers, golf course superintendents have to deal with trust at every level.’
    • ‘The weather gods were unkind making the course unpleasant in certain areas.’
    • ‘It is a full service shotgun complex with two fully automated sporting clays courses, and golf carts are included.’
    • ‘Graphics have been sharpened slightly, but the racing courses are the same, and with minor exceptions, so are the vehicles.’
    • ‘The more spectacular slalom racing will take place on an artificial course at the Olympic Complex.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Have you ever tried to play golf on a course where there were more than a few annoying insects?’
    • ‘They use another service for showing races but have their own racing presenters on the course.’
    • ‘The course was on land reclaimed from the old British Steel works.’
    • ‘Outside the golf club members were working hard to prepare the course for open week.’
    • ‘The $3-a-person game simulates real courses, with wind factors and club choices.’
    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’
    • ‘The summer school will include courses on a range of subjects as well as outings and recreational activities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Without textbooks in minority languages, schools were more likely to offer subject courses in Chinese.’
    • ‘More math and reading courses for elementary school teachers were mandated.’
    • ‘Initially, the vocational training center will mainly provide training courses for vocational school teachers.’
    • ‘The school's academic courses include Chinese language lessons taught by professors from China, night classes for adults, and computer lessons.’
    • ‘Many of the sites offered community college credit for courses taken as part of a high school diploma.’
    • ‘This could occur in small groups in teacher education courses or in large class discussions.’
    • ‘I've had students write me telling me that they used one of my courses in high school.’
    • ‘The project also will test use of the Web to provide science lab courses to high schools.’
    • ‘While aspects of the curriculum can be assessed in the written examination, courses of study in each school reflect the whole curriculum.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because on-site attendance can be impossible for those living far away, numerous schools and educators offer distance learning courses.’
    • ‘Only dual enrollment mathematics courses taught on high school campuses are included in the study.’
    • ‘The center offers research fellowships, courses, lecture series, conferences, and publications.’
    • ‘True revision is only possible if you have studied the subject conscientiously throughout your course.’
    • ‘The internet based company develops internet continuing education courses and distance learning on their web site, with almost all the specialties.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1Medicine A series of repeated treatments or doses of medication.
      ‘the doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics’
      • ‘Most clinical trials have used 10-to 14-day courses of antibiotic therapy.’
      • ‘Initial treatment should be medical with a course of antibiotics of at least two weeks duration.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A repeat course of antibiotics at a later date to keep the condition under control.’
      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 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.’
    • ‘The wall was built in regular horizontal courses bonded by mud mortar.’
    • ‘The effect of height of a temple till now was mitigated and compromised by the horizontal courses of stone used for construction.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Without mortar, lay two courses of brick to help determine the size of your barbecue.’
    • ‘One face of the double-sided fireplace features two courses of light buff brick alternating with a single, inset course of red bricks.’
    layer, thickness, stratum, seam, vein, band, bed
    View synonyms
  • 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’
    • ‘Power coursed like liquid fire through my veins, as my adrenaline spiked and I screamed in pain.’
    • ‘I was determined to catch some of the big trout I could see in the clear streams that coursed down each valley floor.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She cried, tears coursing down her cheeks, mingled with the rain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 turned and ran as fast as she could, trying all the while to control the stream of tears coursing down her cheeks.’
    • ‘My father may have been in the merchant navy, but that doesn't mean there's salt water coursing through my veins.’
    • ‘Water coursed from his hair, to his neck, and to his toes in tiny rivulets.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cassandra merely stayed where she was, unable to move as the pain coursed through her body.’
    • ‘I took the opportunity to glance at her, and noticed tears coursing down her cheeks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nikolas closed his eyes as the spray of water coursed down his body.’
    • ‘It felt like my entire right side had been blown off, and every breath sent liquid fire coursing through every vein.’
    • ‘Water coursed through the empty gullies, filling oceans, creating islands, lapping up on sand and rocks, and hosting a new swarm of creatures.’
    • ‘Even writing that I can feel a little adrenaline rush coursing through my veins.’
    • ‘The warm liquid coursed down her throat, calming the fear she felt.’
    • ‘I nodded; tears were still coursing down my cheeks.’
    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)
      • ‘His doctor can think of no other course of action at the moment.’
      • ‘The suggested course of action makes no sense, constitutionally, politically or practically.’
      • ‘Admittedly this is an unusual course of action for a federal agency.’
      • ‘With any course of action there is a desired or anticipated outcome.’
      • ‘Every course of action we evaluated had multiple ramifications.’
      • ‘The only course of action is to persuade him to resign or to hold a primary.’
      • ‘Both courses of action further reduce the ability of the state to command the sort of revenue stream it previously enjoyed.’
      • ‘The hospital was waiting for tests to reveal the cause of the illness, allowing doctors to then determine the best course of action.’
      • ‘Upon receiving this assessment the parties can decide what their respective future course of action will be.’
      • ‘The prospect of ministers sharing in the financial pain may help the Tories sell such a course of action.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘No causal study could rule out the possibility that its results were not due directly it interfering with 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.’
      • ‘I would say that the course of nature dictates, all right?’
      • ‘Usually she accepted the course of nature, but giant slugs she didn't consider natural.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘For this reason, Ockham shifted emphasis on simplicity from the course of nature to theories which are formulated about it.’
  • in (the) course of —

    • 1Undergoing the specified process.

      ‘a new text book was in course of preparation’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The quality and degree of validation of decisions determine employment efficiency, cost and operational characteristics of the Air Force in course of development.’
      • ‘It therefore refers to what is aleatory, temporal and in course of development.’
      • ‘When this judgment was in course of preparation counsel drew my attention to three additional cases.’
      • ‘We all go through this process, and in the course of it we lose the ability just to be ourselves.’
      • ‘Suppose that the same gene produces many processed pseudogenes in the course of its evolution.’
      • ‘Single monomers undergo conformational changes in the course of the simulation.’
      • ‘The objection to the application was made by the man who was appointed manager of the establishment when it was in course of construction.’
    • 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.’
      • ‘In course of their progress to the finals, some excellent matches were played.’
      • ‘Two years passed and I hadn't seen the boy more than five times in the course of that period.’
      • ‘That is indisputable, nevertheless, in the course of this period many battles took place.’
      • ‘Many of the children read over 20 books in the course of a four week period.’
      • ‘This happened as the draft Broadcasting Bill made its way through Parliament in the course of 1980.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How, then did the natural environment change in the course of this period?’
      • ‘Only gradually in the course of this period were polities defined in clear terms of territory and explicit geographical sensibility.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘Those who have studied this worldwide problem say that ‘continuous exposure’ to 85 decibels of noise will, in course of time, damage hearing ability.’
      • ‘However in the course of time, gold has become the preferred metal for use in hand wrought jewellery.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He said people should encourage musicians to render new keertanas so that they too became popular in the course of time.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘This all seemed a great idea in principle but of course the numbers don't work.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is expected of them, of course, and most of the time it is pretty tedious stuff.’
      • ‘Assuming, of course, they were ever really expected to be taking part in the first place.’
      • ‘It is, of course, obvious that such an approach is predicated on the lawfulness of the policy.’
      • ‘Older people cannot, of course, be expected to know what they might care to do with their time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This of course entails the idea that the ruling ideology doesn't take itself seriously.’
      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.’’
        • ‘There is no doubt that we want to do well and of course we will try and win the championship if that is possible.’
        • ‘Oh yes, sure I got messages from others, and of course I was ecstatic to hear from them.’
        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’
        • ‘This is all very positive for me, of course, but it is also good for the team.’
        • ‘That's assuming that blogging and the column both last another year of course.’
        • ‘They must have thought we were on a pleasure cruise, and of course in lots of ways we were.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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’
      • ‘That way when the car goes a little off course, it could just bounce right back in and continue merrily on its way.’
      • ‘I told him we not only were off course, but that we were on the wrong route.’
      • ‘If we are not careful, all the words that follow people, politics, and power can take us off course.’
      • ‘A knee injury, a doping ban and problems with his former team all combined to knock his career off course.’
      • ‘That's when we veered off course and nose-dived thousands of feet.’
      • ‘An arrow that spins less will not cut through the air the same and it will drift further off course.’
      • ‘It was meant to be a routine flight, but the plane ended up 2000 km off course.’
      • ‘Storm and winds can buffet you off course, you may be injured, tire, fall behind, drop and die.’
      • ‘A difficult course to make, with the choppy cross seas that are continuously trying to knock us off course.’
      • ‘Two years into the century it seems we are still a long way 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 were on course now, following the postage stamp sign and heading straight for the museum.’
      • ‘When he rolled the racer back on course the ship flipped over on its back and dove into the ground.’
      • ‘I think I'm on course in my career and, as I said, this is when I thought I'd start to deliver anyway.’
      • ‘The wound was slow to heal in the months that followed but within a year they were back on course.’
      • ‘The real challenge is the capacity to assess where we are, where we have gone off track and to get things back on course.’
      • ‘The company is in the third year, and is said to be well on course with its targets.’
      • ‘It is evident that it's going to take a while to achieve our objective, but we're on course.’
      • ‘We can definitely find a modern and progressive form of governance by staying on course towards the right.’
      • ‘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.’
      on target, on schedule, on time
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Likely to achieve something.
        ‘he was on course for victory’
        • ‘Only two letters of objection were received, and the council is now on course to build the £3,500 shelter.’
        • ‘He predicts that the group is already on course to achieve £8.5m profits in the current financial year.’
        • ‘Melanoma rates are on course to treble over the next 30 years, unless sunbathing trends are reversed.’
        • ‘Earlier they seemed on course to continue their serene progress.’
        • ‘The company was now on course to make profits of £400m in the full year.’
        • ‘House prices are on course to outpace shares again this year.’
        • ‘At 17, and with a three handicap, he is well on course to achieve his dream of becoming a professional.’
        • ‘It appears that they are on course to achieve their goal, but one year later than planned.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘So far this year, 27 members have passed, putting the group on course to achieve its target.’
        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’
      • ‘He believed that natural justice was taking its course and judicial fairness, according to common law, would be afforded.’
      • ‘All this amounts to gross interference with the investigation and prevents law from taking 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.’
      • ‘And I actually forced myself to eat, which of course, was a mistake, and nature took its course on that one.’
      • ‘As the light faded and the storm ran its course, she was forced to turn on the lamps in the room.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘They were an old race, many millennia having given natural selection time to run its course.’
      • ‘But as the progressiveness of the illness takes its course, they will not be able to hide it.’
      • ‘There is no specific treatment for the virus and patients are given plenty of fluids until the illness runs 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/