Meaning of “course” in the English Dictionary

"course" in English

See all translations


uk /kɔːs/ us /kɔːrs/

course noun (CLASSES)

A1 [ C ] a set of classes or a plan of study on a particular subject, usually leading to an exam or qualification:

They're going away on a training course next week.
I'd like to do (US take) a writing course when I retire.
UK Tim did a three-year course in linguistics at Newcastle.

More examples

course noun (SPORTS AREA)

B1 [ C ] an area of land or water used for a sports event:

a golf course/cross-country course
See also

More examples

course noun (DEVELOPMENT)

C1 [ S ] the often gradual development of something, or the way something happens, or a way of doing something:

Did the scandal have any effect on the course of the election?
In the course of (= during) the interview it became clear that he was not the right person for the job.
What would be an appropriate course (of action) in such a situation?
If our rivals are spending more on advertising, we'll have to follow the same course.
The defendants are also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
in the course of time UK

after a period of time:

I assume they plan to have children in the course of time.
in/with the course of time

UK gradually:

With the course of time, I've learned to live with my disability.

More examples

course noun (DIRECTION)

C1 [ C usually singular, U ] the direction in which a vehicle, especially an aircraft, spacecraft, or ship, moves, or the path along which a river flows:

The pilot avoided a collision by changing course.
Changing the course of the river would cause serious environmental damage to the whole valley.
figurative The debate completely changed course after Liz made her speech.
on course

likely to happen, or likely to succeed as planned:

Because of the recession, we're on course for/to have record unemployment levels.

More examples

course noun (MEAL)

A2 [ C ] a part of a meal that is served separately from the other parts:

a four-course lunch
A traditional British main course consists of a meat dish with potatoes and other vegetables.

More examples


[ C ] a fixed number of regular medical treatments:

My doctor's put me on a course of antibiotics.
UK She needed a six-month course of physiotherapy after she broke her leg.

courseverb [ I usually + adv/prep ]

uk /kɔːs/ us /kɔːrs/ formal

to flow quickly or in large amounts:

Tears were coursing down his cheeks.
You could almost hear the blood coursing through her veins as she passed the finishing line.
figurative A new wave of idealism is coursing through our schools.

(Definition of “course” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"course" in American English

See all translations

coursenoun [ C ]

us /kɔrs, koʊrs/

course noun [ C ] (DIRECTION)

the particular path something such as an aircraft or ship takes as it moves, or the path along which a river flows:

A southern course will take our flight over Texas.
The ship was blown off course (= away from its course) in the storm.

course noun [ C ] (DEVELOPMENT)

the often gradual development of something, or the way something happens, or a way of doing something:

He always chats with waiters and waitresses and becomes their best friends during the course of dinner.

course noun [ C ] (CLASSES)

a set of classes in a subject at a school or university:

He taught a course in film history at Harvard University.

course noun [ C ] (SPORTS AREA)

an area used for a sports event:

a golf course

course noun [ C ] (MEAL)

a part of a meal served separately from the other parts:

the meat course

(Definition of “course” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"course" in Business English

See all translations

coursenoun [ C ]

uk /kɔːs/ us

a series of lessons on a particular subject:

course in/on sth We provide courses in commerce, finance, and basic marketing.
During the course, students will learn traditional business and project management skills.
run/teach/offer a course My company offers a lot of in-house training courses.
enrol on a course He has enrolled on a book-keeping course.
be on/go on/do a course Going on a course is a great way of learning in a focused environment.
take a course (in sth) She decided to take a course in recruitment practice to expand her career.
pass/fail/complete a course Students who fail to complete the course will not be awarded a certificate.
a course runs/takes place Our courses run between September and May.
a two-year/part-time/full-time, etc. course a three-day ICT course
an MBA/a management course
a degree/distance-learning course

(Definition of “course” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.


Of course, we all agree that the starting point was to combat fraud, which something needs to be done about immediately.
However, it is weaker in terms of the latest technology and control of the financial markets and, of course, in the military field where the differences are immense.
Everyone who says that draconian measures do not offer definitive protection are right as well of course, but this does not make it the false security that is being suggested.
I am in favour of banning animal testing, provided, of course, that reliable alternative tests are available, in particular with regard to metabolites.
Of course, no one believes that it is just a question of structural changes, rather than of the overall development of a country, but we cannot ignore these important policies.
The evaluation will of course be important in the long-term, and in the short-term it is important that we now agree on a reclassification of drugs.
The proud declarations concerning the common foreign and security policy that are usually made on solemn occasions have of course proved brittle when they have been put to the test.
In that case, of course, there is no way we can make that 2004 implementation date, and my group is concerned about this.
We of course want the compensatory payments to be arranged on a mandatory basis, with unambiguous criteria, and so we have no great problems in that regard.
Of course, there is the major social sector you referred to, where you do not have full employment but you offer social services with certain specific incentives.