\ 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

Another Turkish drillship, the Fatih, is already drilling 40 miles off Cyprus’ west coast in what the Cypriot government condemned as a violation of international law and its sovereign rights. Washington Post, "Turkey launches new gas drillship amid tensions with Cyprus," 21 June 2019 The west coast class of 2020 is loaded, and the early returns aren’t promising for the Pac-12. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: With Bru McCoy and Chris Steele secure at USC, the Pac-12 recruiting haul gains luster," 19 June 2019 Beaches, sand dunes and small-town charms can be found throughout the state’s western coast, according to Michigan Beachtowns website. Sheila Vilvens,, "Looking for places to go to escape the rain? We found a few," 18 June 2019 Its impact also raised huge waves up to 40 meters (approximately 131 feet) high that, as people were still reeling from the aftershocks, began crashing into the coast. Junko Ogura And Kara Fox, CNN, "Tsunamis expected in Japanese coastal regions after earthquake," 18 June 2019 His small beach town on the state’s northern coast, just 6,649 people spread over an area just under 2 square miles, spent roughly $6.3 million cleaning debris off the beach. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Six years after Sandy, Jersey Shore recovery shows shortfalls in the system," 18 June 2019 The bacteria is endemic along the southeastern U.S. coast, but has also been found in the Chesapeake Bay, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Flesh-eating bacteria becoming more common in Delaware Bay due to climate change, study finds," 18 June 2019 This was Pebble Beach, set along the rugged California coast. Doug Ferguson, The Denver Post, "Ferguson: Score not the measure of when U.S. Open is a good test of golf," 18 June 2019 The island will help protect the coast from storms and marshes from erosion. Tristan Baurick,, "Dredging, dams and other river controls starve places downriver of much-needed sediment," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But as Beloso coasted into second, Garza was desperately trying to make his way back toward the bag. Luke Johnson,, "LSU laments missed chances as Florida State pulls away late in Game 1," 8 June 2019 The motor stuffed between the gas engine and the transmission handles energy-recuperation duties, capturing energy that otherwise would be lost while coasting or braking and sending it to the battery pack. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "The 986-HP Ferrari SF90 Stradale Plug-In Hybrid Yanks Maranello Back Into Hypercar Race," 29 May 2019 Sunday’s conditions were far from ideal, as a constant rainstorm pelted riders and flooded FDR drive, requiring cyclists to coast through lakes that threatened to pull them under. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "E-Biking My Way Through New York's Five Boro Bike Tour," 9 May 2019 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

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

24 Jun 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

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having a desire to acquire more things

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