\ ˈkōst How to pronounce coast (audio) \

Definition of coast

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the land near a shore : seashore
2 obsolete : border, frontier
3a : a hill or slope suited to coasting
b : a slide down a slope (as on a sled)
4 often capitalized : the Pacific coast of the U.S.
5 : the immediate area of view used in the phrase the coast is clear
from coast to coast
: across an entire nation or continent


coasted; coasting; coasts

Definition of coast (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : to move along or past the side of : skirt
2 : to sail along the shore of

intransitive verb

1a archaic : to travel on land along a coast or along or past the side of something
b : to sail along the shore
2a : to slide, run, or glide downhill by the force of gravity
b : to move along without or as if without further application of propulsive power (as by momentum or gravity)
c : to proceed easily without special application of effort or concern coasted through school often used with on a company coasting on its good reputation

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Other Words from coast


coastal \ ˈkō-​stᵊl How to pronounce coastal (audio) \ adjective
coastwise \ ˈkōst-​ˌwīz How to pronounce coastwise (audio) \ adverb or adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for coast

Synonyms: Verb

bowl, breeze, brush, cruise, drift, flow, glide, roll, sail, skim, slide, slip, stream, sweep, whisk

Antonyms: Verb

flounder, struggle

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Examples of coast in a Sentence


He lives on the coast. He's flying out to the Coast tomorrow.


The car coasted to a stop. The airplane coasted down the runway. The children coasted on sleds down the snowy hill. They came coasting down the hill on bicycles. After taking a big lead, the team coasted to victory. He was accused of trying to coast through school. She decided she could coast along without a job for the next few months. The company is coasting on its good reputation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Over hundreds of years, similar structures started popping up in southern France, Mediterranean coasts, and Spain. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Stonehenge Might Have Its Roots With Ancient Sailors From France," 12 Feb. 2019 In recent years, the state’s coasts and waterways have been besieged by outbreaks of blue-green algae and red tide that have killed marine life and driven away tourists. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "New Florida Governor Moves Quickly With Supreme Court Pick, Environmental Plan," 10 Jan. 2019 But enshrining a ban in the state constitution would more permanently protect the state’s coasts and wildlife as well as its tourism industry from the risks associated with oil and gas extraction. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Florida passed this year’s weirdest ballot initiative: a ban on vaping and offshore drilling," 7 Nov. 2018 Less a bar than a break-off room for smokers and selfie snappers, the indoor greenery speaks to the exotic gardens of the Mediterranean coast and the mountains surrounding nhow Marseille. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "At the Nhow Marseille Hotel in France, Italian Furniture and Local Grit Lead the Design," 22 Oct. 2018 Get a few pompano and bluefish rigs and a couple rod holders from most any bait shop along the coast and some frozen shrimp or clams and hit your favorite beach. Mark Blythe,, "Fishing 101: Learn how to start fishing in Central Florida," 11 July 2018 Eritrea’s enormous potential for tourism—a sparkling coast and, in Asmara, one of the continent’s most beautiful cities with a wealth of Art Deco buildings—has been mostly squandered. The Economist, "Ethiopia and Eritrea put an end to two decades of conflict," 10 July 2018 For a time the parliament functioned from two locations where the Palestinians have a greater degree of control — Gaza City on the Mediterranean coast and Ramallah, which is their West Bank seat of government. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Unfinished Palestinian parliament a grim symbol," 6 July 2018 Earlier this year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans to quadruple drilling in U.S. water, including Florida's Atlantic coast and in the eastern Gulf, where drilling was banned in 1988. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Trump plan to expand Gulf drilling ignores impacts on wildlife, lawsuit claims," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The eurozone’s largest member is coasting into a slowdown. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Germany’s Slowdown That Dare Not Speak Its Name," 31 Jan. 2019 Eco has the least responsive accelerator and by default the most aggressive regeneration under coasting. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The new 2019 Hyundai Kona EV is a clever little electric crossover," 24 Oct. 2018 From there, the Marauders coasted, with Leonard retiring the next nine batters in order, five via strikeout, and Coughlin driving in two more runs. Matt Doherty,, "Mike Vasil leads BC High; Franklin advances to Super 8 baseball final," 14 June 2018 The Chippewas took an early lead, were up, 37-31, at the half, pushed the advantage to 71-43 at the 8:22 mark and coasted home. Associated Press, Detroit Free Press, "College hoops: Central Michigan, WMU win MAC openers; EMU falls," 2 Jan. 2018 After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Russian Army inherited large stocks of small arms, and has coasted on that inventory ever since. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Chukavin, Russia’s New Sniper Rifle," 6 Dec. 2018 For those of us watching, though, anything that awakens Golden State and forces them to stop coasting is a good thing. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "The Rockets Are Exactly the Kind of Wake-Up Call the Warriors Need," 15 Mar. 2018 While expanding the playoff field, the new system also increased the significance of division championships, ensuring that no second-place team within striking distance of first would coast through September. Jack Dickey,, "Midseason Report Card: Red Sox, Yankees Continue to Control the AL East," 29 June 2018 The sleek vessels coast through Seattle’s waters, offering glimpses of sea life, Mount Rainier, and the coastline. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Things to Do in Seattle," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coast.' 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 coast


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for coast


Middle English cost, from Anglo-French coste, from Latin costa rib, side; akin to Old Church Slavonic kostĭ bone

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Statistics for coast

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coast

The first known use of coast was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for coast



English Language Learners Definition of coast

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the land along or near a sea or ocean
US, informal : the area along or near the Pacific Ocean



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

: to move forward using no power or very little power
: to move downhill by the force of gravity
: to progress or have success without special effort


\ ˈkōst How to pronounce coast (audio) \

Kids Definition of coast

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the land near a shore


coasted; coasting

Kids Definition of coast (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move downhill by the force of gravity
2 : to sail close to shore along a coast

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More from Merriam-Webster on coast

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coast

Spanish Central: Translation of coast

Nglish: Translation of coast for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coast for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about coast

Comments on coast

What made you want to look up coast? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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