noun, often attributive
\ ˈkōch How to pronounce coach (audio) \

Definition of coach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a large usually closed four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage having doors in the sides and an elevated seat in front for the driver On special occasions the queen rides in a gold coach.
b : a railroad passenger car intended primarily for day travel Smoking is not permitted in the train's coaches.
c : bus sense 1a toured the city by coach
e : a 2-door enclosed automobile
f : a class of passenger air transportation at a lower fare than first class We reserved two seats in coach.
2 [from the concept that the tutor conveys the student through examinations]
a : a private tutor hired a coach to help her daughter prepare for the test
b : one who instructs or trains an acting coach a birth coach especially : one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy a football coach a pitching coach a gymnastics coach


coached; coaching; coaches

Definition of coach (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to go in a coach
2 : to instruct, direct, or prompt as a coach When an injury ended his playing career, he decided to coach.

transitive verb

1 : to train intensively (as by instruction and demonstration) coach pupils The lawyer coached the witness.
2 : to act as coach of coach tennis coach a team

Illustration of coach

Illustration of coach


coach 1a

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from coach


coachable \ ˈkō-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce coach (audio) \ adjective
coacher noun

Synonyms for coach

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of coach in a Sentence

Noun a track star who has been working with a new coach In those days, people usually traveled long distances in coaches. Verb He coaches the tennis star. He has coached the team for several years. She coached the U.S. gymnastics team at the Olympics. He has coached at the college level for many years. The lawyer admitted to coaching the witness. It was clear that the witness had been coached by her lawyer on how to answer the questions.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One source of many millennials’ insecurity is the scars of the 2008 recession, says Maggie Germano, a financial coach based in Washington, D.C. Julia Carpenter, WSJ, "Why So Many Millennials Fall Prey to Imposter Syndrome," 2 May 2021 When customers visit an ax range, their throwing time is accompanied with instruction from a coach that teaches the patrons the proper way to throw an ax. Kathy Cichon,, "Indoor ax throwing takes off in the suburbs," 30 Apr. 2021 By joining Belichick in New England, Jones goes to a coach who has won six Super Bowls with the Patriots. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Mac Jones’ secret is out after NFL Draft’s first round," 30 Apr. 2021 Kim Serota of Coral Springs, a reading coach for Broward schools, went back to the office in October after getting a Bernedoodle puppy, Murphy, four months earlier. Lois K. Solomon,, "They fell in love with their pandemic pets. Now they don’t want to leave them.," 30 Apr. 2021 Then he got drafted by the Patriots, in position to revive a fabled franchise under a great coach. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "NFL draft's first round revealed a disturbing trend for Pac-12 football," 30 Apr. 2021 Mere moments from reaching the MLS Cup game five months ago, Minnesota United is winless to start a season coach Adrian Heath promises is still too early for worry. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "Mistakes need fixing to overcome Minnesota United's winless start," 30 Apr. 2021 Javadifar turned a roadblock in her career into a building block by becoming a strength and conditioning coach. ABC News, "In the NFL, these women are making a power play for change," 30 Apr. 2021 Many parents — the consumers — do not have enough information to guide them when choosing a coach or a team or a league, or when deciding when the risks outweigh the benefits., "How COVID-19 may have made the economic divides in youth sports worse than before," 29 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With a return Wednesday, Clifford will coach the final seven games of the regular season. Roy Parry,, "Magic coach Steve Clifford clears NBA health and safety protocols, set to return Wednesday against Celtics," 3 May 2021 In 2020, Kelly and his staff could not coach the players until mid-September due to COVID regulations. Los Angeles Times, "Chip Kelly counting on UCLA ‘super seniors’ Qwuantrezz Knight and Brittain Brown," 28 Apr. 2021 After Graham knocked down an open 3 off a 4-on-1 Hornets break to push the lead to 20, Celtics coach Brad Stevens had seen enough and emptied his bench with 3:30 remaining. Steve Reed,, "Graham scores 24 as Hornets rout Celtics," 25 Apr. 2021 After Graham knocked down an open 3 off a 4-on-1 Hornets fast break to push the lead to 20, Celtics coach Brad Stevens had seen enough and emptied his bench with 3:30 remaining. Steve Reed, Star Tribune, "Graham scores 24 as Hornets rout Celtics 125-104," 25 Apr. 2021 Celtics coach Brad Stevens couldn’t get through his postgame press conference after finding out about Clarke’s death., "Boosting Boston basketball was a mission for Terrence Clarke, one his peers plan to carry on," 23 Apr. 2021 Houston assistant Alvin Brooks will coach against his son, Baylor assistant Alvin Brooks III. Jason Hanna, CNN, "Final Four: Gonzaga's the favorite, but all the teams have great basketball stories to tell," 3 Apr. 2021 And developing the skills to mentally coach yourself through an attack can take time. Washington Post, "Heart pounding, body sweating, thoughts racing? It might be a panic attack. Here’s what to do.," 31 Mar. 2021 Elite trainers coach both in-studio and global running classes for an outdoor setting. Dana Rose Falcone,, "NordicTrack vs. Peloton: Which treadmill is better?," 29 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coach.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coach


1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1630, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for coach

Noun and Verb

Middle English coche, from Middle French, from German Kutsche, from Hungarian kocsi (szekér), literally, wagon from Kocs, Hungary

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Statistics for coach

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for coach



English Language Learners Definition of coach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who teaches and trains an athlete or performer
: a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports team and makes decisions about how the team plays during games
British : a private teacher who gives someone lessons in a particular subject



English Language Learners Definition of coach (Entry 2 of 2)

: to teach and train (an athlete or performer)
: to teach, train, and direct (a sports team)
chiefly British : to teach (a student) privately rather than in a class


\ ˈkōch How to pronounce coach (audio) \

Kids Definition of coach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large carriage that has four wheels and a raised seat outside in front for the driver and is drawn by horses
2 : a person who instructs or trains a performer or team
3 : a person who teaches students individually
4 : a railroad passenger car without berths
5 : the least expensive seats on an airplane or a train


coached; coaching

Kids Definition of coach (Entry 2 of 2)

: to teach and train

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