[ kawrs, kohrs ]
/ kɔrs, koʊrs /

adjective, coars·er, coars·est.

Nearby words

  1. coaptation splint,
  2. coaptation suture,
  3. coarct,
  4. coarctate,
  5. coarctation,
  6. coarse fish,
  7. coarse-grained,
  8. coarsen,
  9. coarser,
  10. coarticulation

Origin of coarse

First recorded in 1550–60; earlier cors(e), course, cowarce; of obscure origin

Related forms
Can be confusedcoarse course curse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for coarseness


/ (kɔːs) /


rough in texture, structure, etc; not finecoarse sand
lacking refinement or taste; indelicate; vulgarcoarse jokes
of inferior quality; not pure or choice
(of a metal) not refined
(of a screw) having widely spaced threads
Derived Formscoarsely, adverbcoarseness, noun

Word Origin for coarse

C14: of unknown origin

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for coarseness



early 15c., cors "ordinary" (modern spelling is from late 16c.), probably adjectival use of noun cours (see course (n.)), originally referring to rough cloth for ordinary wear. Developed a sense of "rude" c.1500 and "obscene" by 1711. Perhaps related, via metathesis, to French gros, which had a similar sense development. Related: Coarsely; coarseness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper