\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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Nantucket, south coast beaches were open after being closed yesterday due to the threat of rip currents, the island’s harbor master wrote in a Twitter post. John Hilliard,, "Beaches reopen, but officials warn swimmers of rip current risk along southern Mass. coast," 12 July 2018 However, the Romans would have had the skills to hunt right and gray whales, which hug the coast. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Romans May Have Hunted Whales to Extinction in Their Home Waters," 11 July 2018 His body was found 5 days later, 34 miles up the coast. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Despite 'high risk' warning and drownings, Cape Hatteras sees record number of tourists," 9 July 2018 Monday should see the temperature drop again, with highs in the 90s inland and in the 70s and 80s by the coast. Shelby Grad,, "More temperature records set as heat wave grips Southern California," 8 July 2018 On a sweeping bluff overlooking the San Diego coast, a generation of young girls nurtured their love of horses while parents relied on the staff at La Jolla Farms Stables for the basics in show jumping and equestrian competition. Jeff Mcdonald,, "#MeToo movement prompts disclosure of alleged sexual abuse at La Jolla Farms Stables," 8 July 2018 That’s frustrating for employers, since the games are airing in the middle of workday along the east coast, a by-product of the time change from Russia. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Here's Your Defense When the Boss Catches You Watching the World Cup at Work," 27 June 2018 Jerry Powell, a UC Berkeley graduate professor of systematic entomology, said that California oak moths sporadically hatch in blooms in Palo Alto, Santa Cruz and cities along the California coast, usually in July and August. Lauren Hernández, San Francisco Chronicle, "Experts reassuring as thousands of oak moths swarm Oakland park trees," 7 June 2018 Since April, three other small earthquakes have struck off the coast, with one of them reportedly being felt as far away as Eugene. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh,, "Small earthquake off Oregon coast becomes fifth to strike since April," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Despite starting a lineup that included two players that were called up from T2 for the game, the Timbers put in a strong and composed performance to coast to the 2-0 victory. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Timbers beat San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 to advance in U.S. Open Cup," 7 June 2018 The leading Republican candidate, former Assemblywoman Young Kim, is expected to coast easily into the November contest. Maeve Reston, CNN, "How a surge of progressive energy could backfire on Democrats in California," 31 May 2018 Sophomore outfielder Landon Etzel safely took second as the throw-out pitch whizzed past two Rice defenders into shallow centerfield, allowing senior shortstop Cooper Coldiron to coast across the home plate to build Houston’s lead to five. Houston Chronicle, "Cougars take down Owls in Wayne Graham’s final game against Houston," 15 May 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coast

Phrases Related to coast

the Coast

the coast is clear

Statistics for coast

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coast

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!