Course and Coarse

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between course and coarse?

Coarse means rough or crude.
Most commonly, course means:
  • A series of educational lessons (e.g., a French course).
  • A direction (e.g., That's an odd course to take.)
There are more meanings for course below.

Coarse and Course

The words coarse and course sound identical, but their meanings are very different. The most common query regarding course and coarse relates to meals. Meals are made up of courses not coarses. For example:
  • A three-course meal

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The adjective coarse means rough, crude, of low quality, or not fine in texture. For example:

coarse sand

coarse manners

Perch - a type of coarse fish (not as refined as trout or salmon, which are classified as game fish)


The word course has many meanings. It can be an adjective, a noun, or a verb. Listed below are the meanings of course:

Education delivered in a series of lessons
  • I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia. (Woody Allen)
  • English course
Also, the students who attend
  • You have been an excellent course.
A direction
  • A southerly course
  • The river changed course.
A series of events
  • The government took an unexpected course.
  • A course of action
To move (of liquids and ships)
  • The German ships coursed the Baltic.
  • The stream coursed through the peat bog.
Part of a meal
  • We're having a three-course meal. The first course is white bait or mussels.
To hunt with dogs
  • To course after hares.
  • of course
Area of land (or water) for sport
  • Golf course
  • Skiing course
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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are adjectives? What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words