course | meaning of course in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English | LDOCE















► Course is never followed by ‘of’. Don’t say ‘a course of Business Studies’. Say ‘a course in Business Studies’.

a period of study in a particular subject, especially at university

b) British English a period of study in a particular subject, especially at university SYN program American English a degree course in photography

course on/in a course on architecture I’m taking a course in graphic design.







a period of time or process during which something happens

during/in/throughout/over the course of something


During the course of our conversation, it emerged that Bob had been in prison.


Over the course of the next few years, the steel industry was reorganized.

in the course of doing something


In the course of researching customer needs, we discovered how few families have adequate life insurance.

It seems the boom in World Music has run its course.

Relax and let nature take its course .

(= develop in the usual way and reach a natural end )

take/run its course (= develop in the usual way and reach a natural end ) Relax and let nature take its course . It seems the boom in World Music has run its course.

In the normal course of events, a son would inherit from his father.

in the normal/natural/ordinary course of events

in the normal/natural/ordinary course of events In the normal course of events, a son would inherit from his father.

Meeting Sally changed the whole course of his life .

forces that shape the course of evolution

course of forces that shape the course of evolution

the usual or natural way that something changes, develops , or is done




singular, uncountable


the general plans someone has to achieve something or the general way something is happening


They will go to any lengths to get the White House to

change course



He will

steer a middle course

between pacifism and revolution.


As long as the economy

stays on course

, the future looks rosy.





countable usually singular



an action or series of actions that you could take in order to deal with a particular situation


I agreed that this was the only sensible

course of action


take/decide on a course


The judge took the only course of action open to him.




countable usually singular, uncountable




the planned direction taken by a boat or plane to reach a place


The plane

changed course

to avoid the storm.

on/off course


going in the right or wrong direction



The ship was

blown off course



The aircraft was almost ten miles off course.


She tightened the mainsail while

holding the course


travelling in the same direction as planned









one of the separate parts of a meal

three-course/five-course etc meal


The ticket includes entry and a four-course meal.

first/second/main etc course


We had fish for the main course.

an area of land or water where races are held, or an area of land designed for playing golf

course of injections/drugs/treatment etc a course of antibiotics

an amount of medicine or medical treatment that you have regularly for a specific period of time

in (the) course of time







the direction a river moves in


The course of the water was shown by a line of trees.


Meaning 3:


take a course



do a course

British English


I decided to do a course in Italian.

go on a course

British English

My company wanted me to go on a course in management skills.

pass/fail a course

If you pass the course, you get a diploma in psychology.

apply for a course

The following year she applied for a nursing course.

enrol on a course/put your name down for a course

British English


to arrange to officially join a course


How about enrolling on a sailing course?

attend a course



take part in a course


You’ll have to attend a course on how to deal with customers on the phone.

withdraw from a course/drop out of a course


leave it without finishing it


She had to withdraw from the course because of illness.

teach a course

She is teaching an introductory course in Russian.

run a course

The course is run by the British Council.

offer a course

The course is offered on a part-time basis.

change (your) course


at university or college


Some students choose to change their course after the first year.


a language/art/design etc course

The school runs ten-week language courses three times a year.

a full-time/part-time course

There are also part-time courses for mature students.

an elementary/intermediate/advanced course

an advanced course in art and design

a one-year/two-year etc course

She did a one-year teacher training course.

a short course

I did a short course on website design.

an intensive course


in which you learn a lot in a short time


An intensive course in Russian is provided for those who do not already know the language.

a crash course



in which you learn a great deal in a very short time


A husband was given a crash course in how to deliver a baby by a midwife on the phone.

a training course

If you are offered the job, you will attend a two-week training course.

a vocational course


that trains you to do a particular job


a vocational course in architecture

a college/university course

students who fail their college courses

a degree course

British English



an undergraduate course



a first course at a university, which usually lasts three years


a three-year degree course

a postgraduate course

British English


one you do after your first degree course


a correspondence course


in which you work at home, sending work to a teacher by post


an introductory course


for people who have never done a particular subject or activity before


an induction course


that you do when you start a new job or position


a refresher course


short and intended to teach you about new developments in a subject


a foundation course

British English


a general course that students do in the first year at some universities


a sandwich course

British English


that includes periods of work in industry or business


a tailor-made course


one that is specially designed for someone


a tailor-made course to help senior staff develop their negotiation skills

course + NOUN

a course tutor

British English:

I discussed it with my course tutor.

course material

Teachers are provided with course material.

the course syllabus


the plan of what is taught on a course


The school has recently introduced a new course syllabus.


Don’t say ‘

make a course

’. Say



take a course



Meaning 5: the usual or natural way that something changes, develops, or is done


something takes a course


develops in a particular way


He felt that events were taking the wrong course.

something takes/runs its course


develops in the usual or natural way


There was nothing we could do except watch the illness run its course.

change/alter the course of something

The incident changed the course of the election.

influence/shape the course of something

The result of this battle influenced the whole course of the war.

determine/decide the course of something

Don’t let chance decide the course of your career.


in the normal/ordinary course of something

His bravery was far more than was required in the normal course of duty.

the course of history/somebody’s life etc

Changing conditions shape the course of evolution.