\ ˈkōst \

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 \ˈkōs-tᵊl \ adjective
coastwise \ˈkōst-ˌwīz \ 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

But under California law the entire California coast up to the mean high tide line must be open to the public. CBS News, "Locals residents and state officials battle over access to public California beach," 13 July 2018 Sonoma, which has hosted Indy cars since 2005 and the IndyCar series finale since 2015, is located about 150 miles up the California coast and could see Laguna as a competing event that will draw attendance away from its venue. Indianapolis Star, "Laguna Seca on track to return to IndyCar calendar," 13 July 2018 Trippier and Young are hanging back a bit more, or at least until the coast is clear. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 The ship then will head up the west coast of Africa back to Southampton before crossing the Atlantic a second time on a final leg back to New York. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Cunard Line ship to go from New York to Australia and back," 11 July 2018 The south coast side eventually avoided relegation, after Mark Hughes accumulated eight points from eight games, but Pellegrino's struggles will live on in the minds of Southampton fans., "Mauricio Pellegrino Aiming to Avoid Southampton Mistakes After Signing 1-Year Leganes Contract," 13 July 2018 That’s a large part of why Milton and Judi Stewart decided to leave their current beach home on the Oregon coast and second home in Arizona to IU in their estate plan. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "These donors love their alma maters so much they gave them the roofs over their heads," 13 July 2018 In Miami, the wealthy have long preferred the coasts. Richard Florida, WIRED, "Climate Change Will Force the Poor From Their Homes," 13 July 2018 At the same time, the interior of the United States, including Texas, is drawing more new wind installations than either coast or the Great Lakes region. L.m. Sixel, Houston Chronicle, "Cost to generate wind power fell by one-third in six years," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Golden State Warriors open defense of their defense with injuries, while the Houston Rockets coasted to the league's best record and home-court advantage. Scooby Axson,, "2018 NBA Playoffs: First Round Schedule," 12 Apr. 2018 Afterward, Wright talked about how the defense had coasted a bit early in the season after taking leads. Mike Jensen,, "Villanova's three-pointers against Kansas in Final Four overshadowed its incredible defensive effort," 31 Mar. 2018 Taylor coasted into second base and then was removed for a pinch runner — pitcher Ross Stripling. Andy Mccullough,, "Dodgers hoping to avoid placing Chris Taylor on disabled list," 24 June 2018 Hypothetically, Pose could just coast on that little groundbreaking detail., "What Makes Pose's Biggest Relationship Special Isn't What You Think," 11 June 2018 Bergsma drafted behind Manganello for most of the final, until Manganello had nothing left and coasted round the oval for the final lap, hands on her knees. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "U.S. speedskaters see positives in mass start showing, other top-10 finishes," 24 Feb. 2018 Harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the ocean will be reduced immediately, as state and federal water managers try to protect Florida’s coasts from another outbreak of toxic algae. David Fleshler,, "Harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee to be reduced," 21 June 2018 MacGinty scooped the ball then tossed a pass to Austin Elite flanker Hanco Germishuy who coasted for an easy sliding try to take the 30-24 lead. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "USA hangs on to defeat Scotland in rugby thriller," 17 June 2018 The time between Universe and their last record, 2015’s American Nights, hasn’t been anywhere close to coasting for Higgenson though. Bryan Kress, Billboard, "Plain White T's Announce New Album 'Parallel Universe,' Debut Video for 'Your Body': Exclusive," 15 June 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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Phrases Related to coast

the Coast

the coast is clear

Statistics for coast

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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

the Coast : 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 \

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).


an open space surrounded by woods

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