1 noun
1 of course
a) used when you are mentioning something that you think other people already know, or should know: Your car insurance must, of course, be renewed every year.
b) used to say that what you or someone else has just said is not surprising: Hannah applied for the job and got it, of course.
c) spoken also course informal used to agree with someone, or to give permission to someone: "Can I borrow the car tonight?" "Yeah, course you can."
d) also course spoken used to emphasize that what you are saying is true or correct: "You promise you won't forget?" "Of course I won't!"
-see of course
2 of course not/course not spoken used to emphasize that you are saying no to something, or that something is not true or correct: "Do you think they'll mind if I arrive late?" "No, of course not."
3 LESSONS (C) especially BrE a series of lessons, or studies in a particular subject: Andy's doing a one-year journalism course.
(+ on): a course on the French Revolution (+ in): She's taking a course in flower arranging. -see also: correspondence course, crash course, refresher course, sandwich course
4 in the course of/during the course of formal during a process or period of time: During the course of our conversation it emerged that Bob had been in prison.
5 ACTIONS (C) an action or series of actions that you could take in order to deal with a particular situation: In this case, the best course would be to avoid talking about it altogether. | course of action: One possible course of action would be to increase tax on alcohol.
6 USUAL/NATURAL (C) the usual or natural way that something happens, develops, or is done: Once the story is begun, it must follow its course. | course of history/nature etc: When he met Sally it changed the whole course of his life. | in the normal course of events: In the normal course of events a son would take over the farm from his father.
7 let sth take its course to wait for something to develop in the usual way: Just relax and let nature take its course.
8 run its course to develop in the usual way and come to a natural end: The illness has run its course.
9 PLANE/BOAT (C) the planned direction that a boat or plane takes to go somewhere: on/off course (=going in the right or wrong direction): The ship had been blown off course in the storm.
10 PART OF A MEAL (C) one of the separate parts of a meal: 3-course meal/5-course meal etc: That restaurant has excellent 3-course meals for very reasonable prices. | first/second/main course etc: We're having fish for the main course.
11 be on course to be likely to achieve something because you have already had some success
(+ for): The company is on course for record profits this year. | be on course to do sth: Brazil are on course to win the World Cup.
12 RACE (C) an area of land or water where races happen: The course is a particularly difficult one.
-see also: assault course, obstacle course
13 golf course (C) an area of land that is designed for you to play golf on
14 MEDICAL TREATMENT (C) especially BrE an amount of medicine or medical treatment given or taken regularly for a fixed period of time: If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, you should finish the course. | course of injections/drugs/treatment etc: a course of injections for weight loss
15 in (the) course of time after some or enough time has passed: She'll get used to school in the course of time.
16 RIVER (C) the direction a river moves in: The course of the water was shown by a line of willow trees.
17 BRICKS/STONE (C) a layer of bricks, stone etc
-see also: as a matter of course matter 1 (18), par for the course par (3), stay the course stay 1 (7), in due course due 1 (6) 2 verb
1 (intransitive always + adv/prep) literary if a liquid courses somewhere, it flows rapidly
(+ down/along/through etc): He could not stop the tears coursing down his cheeks.
2 (intransitive always + adv/prep) literary if a feeling or thought courses through your body or mind, you feel it very strongly, or think it quickly
(+ down/through): The shock was so great, it coursed down every nerve in Sam's body.
3 (I, T) to chase a rabbit with dogs as a sport

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.