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 Florida head coach Michael White called a time out. Wally Hall, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | WALLY HALL: Arkansas survived Florida with free throws," 17 Feb. 2021 Nolen and his head coach Marlon Walls — a former defensive lineman at Tennessee — are equally mindful of what someone like Johnson can do with that. Stephen Means, cleveland, "How a Twitter DM could be the icebreaker to Ohio State football finding its Aaron Donald in Walter Nolen: Buckeyes Recruiting," 16 Feb. 2021 For the past four years, Reekie, head coach Ron Harris, 62, and Moody, 39, have been the support system that’s played a big part in Marshall’s success. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "High school football player partners with sign language interpreter to excel on the gridiron," 15 Feb. 2021 Former head coach Tom Herman even said after Texas’ 53-45 double-overtime loss to Oklahoma that better separation and overall play was needed from his receivers, something Texas will search for next season. Dallas News, "Texas WR/TE outlook for 2021: Can Joshua Moore emerge as a No. 1 option?," 15 Feb. 2021 On Tuesday, the Warriors head coach will honor Olson at the Game Changer awards. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors' Steve Kerr recalls meeting with Lute Olson that changed his life," 13 Feb. 2021 The final straw came when McNair promised to give Watson input in hiring the team’s new GM manager or head coach, but didn’t follow through. Globe Staff,, "Several NFL franchise quarterbacks want trades after Tom Brady showed them the way," 13 Feb. 2021 New general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell could always have their sights set on a quarterback later in the draft, or maybe one of next year's prospects. Tyler J. Davis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions land Heisman Trophy winner with No. 7 pick in Todd McShay's latest mock draft," 10 Feb. 2021 Adam Zimmer, son of head coach Mike Zimmer, is a co-defensive coordinator. Star Tribune, "Vikings' hiring of Adam Zimmer, Klint Kubiak is part of the problem," 8 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This was a man who’s meant to coach — whose mornings are meant to be signaled by those 6 a.m. alarms. Tom Green |, al, "Gus Malzahn was set to sit out a year. Now he believes UCF is getting the best version of him," 16 Feb. 2021 Brown was less than a year from being selected by the Celtics with the No. 3 overall pick of the draft, but his NBA education began a bit earlier than that, because Nick’s father, Steve Kerr, happened to coach the Golden State Warriors. Adam Himmelsbach,, "The Celtics have become one of the worst closing teams in the NBA," 10 Feb. 2021 Another assistant, Jay Hernandez, recently departed to coach the Greensboro Swarm in the G League’s bubble at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla. New York Times, "Behind the ‘Grind’ of the N.B.A. Team With the Next Big Thing," 10 Feb. 2021 Stefanski wasn’t able to coach in the Browns’ wild card win over the Steelers. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "Kevin Stefanski’s turnaround of Browns -- on and off field -- made him easy choice for coach of the year," 7 Feb. 2021 Former Clippers coach Doc Rivers will try to cure what ails the talented Philadelphia 76ers. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: Congress’ big ‘Christmas tree’ bill," 22 Dec. 2020 Bjorkgren is expected to rotate responsibilities among his staff much as Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse does with his staff, rather than having coaches focus on a specific aspect of the game such as defense or big men. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: T.J. McConnell is expected to stick around with Indiana Pacers," 8 Nov. 2020 Maral Javadifar thought Katie Sowers making history a year ago as the first female to coach in a Super Bowl meant that topic had been handled once and for all. Teresa M. Walker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bucs double up female coaches in Super Bowl," 1 Feb. 2021 Popovich turns 72 next Thursday and is set to coach Team USA in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo after this season. Tom Orsborn,, "Kerr: San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich might coach beyond this season," 21 Jan. 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

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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