\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

Government lawyers recently disclosed a new estimate that approximately 10,500 to 29,400 gallons (39,747 to 111,291 liters) of oil is leaking daily from the site where slicks often stretch for miles off Louisiana’s coast. Michael Kunzelman, The Seattle Times, "Company can be ordered to drill to end 14-year-old oil leak," 21 Nov. 2018 Magical Mystery Tours takes particular pride in finding destinations that are both a perfect fit, and a touch obscure (for instance, Croatia’s coast might satisfy your Adriatic dreams more completely—and affordably than Italy’s ). Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "Why Even Control Freaks Are Opting for ‘Surprise Vacations’," 14 Nov. 2018 In a normal scenario, Crew Dragon will splash down off of Florida’s eastern coast. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Kazakhstan picks SpaceX, SLS cost savings, Minuteman test," 9 Nov. 2018 When astronauts need to return home, the plan is for the Crew Dragon to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Loren Grush, The Verge, "SpaceX’s helipad-equipped boat will bring astronauts safely home," 5 Nov. 2018 The little island of 23 million people off China’s coast is of great importance to Beijing. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump’s China strategy is the most radical in decades — and it’s failing," 18 Sep. 2018 The Great Barrier Reef, which stretches more than 1,400 miles off Australia’s Queensland coast, is the longest reef system on the planet, and the world's largest living thing. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Great Barrier Reef Is Bouncing Back From Mass Bleaching," 10 Sep. 2018 Accessible only on foot and accommodating just two guests at a time, Clavell Tower is one of the smaller landmarks, perfect for a romantic getaway on England’s southern coast. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "You Can Rent a Pineapple Palace on the Airbnb For Historic Homes," 16 Aug. 2018 Happisburgh has a population of 1,400 and is on England’s east coast. Carolyn Beeler, Teen Vogue, "Erosion From Rising Sea Levels Is Destroying the English Town of Happisburgh," 17 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Coming off a confidence-inducing loss to the Rams, the Seahawks should coast in this one. The Seattle Times, "Pick 'Em," 28 Oct. 2018 When coasting, or when the driver applies just a little brake in a situation such as lumbering down a gentle hill, eTorque operates on pure regen, in which the truck's conventional disc brakes are disabled. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Ram 1500 eTorque: Why the Electrified Pickup Truck Is Even Better," 19 Sep. 2018 In that Director’s Tournament last month, Deer Park coasted to a 21-1 first-game win over Pasadena. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Mustang all-stars open Coast Region play against Vidor squad," 4 July 2018 Both front and rear motors recapture energy when coasting to power the batteries, and the rear motor unit is automatically decoupled in certain situations, such as highway cruising, to improve efficiency. Robert Duffer,, "Review: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is a smooth three-row marvel," 12 June 2017 After spending the final 25 minutes leading the race, on the run into turn 10 the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac was literally coasting on fumes. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The Petit Le Mans: More proof we’re in a golden age for sportscar racing," 18 Oct. 2018 Earlier this month, Cuomo defeated actress Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, and will likely coast to re-election to a third term in November. Fox News, "Andrew Cuomo using banks to target NRA, faces major legal test," 24 Sep. 2018 One of the most interesting episodes features Bob Saget as a beloved TV personality, coasting on the goodwill of people who grew up watching him. Karen Han, Vox, "Josh Groban and Tony Danza’s appealing odd-couple dynamic can’t quite save The Good Cop," 21 Sep. 2018 The truck uses an algorithm co-developed by Tula Technology Inc., a San Jose, Calif., startup, to improve efficiency by deactivating some cylinders when cruising or coasting. Chester Dawson, WSJ, "U.S. Auto Makers Are Putting Smaller Engines Into Big Trucks So They Guzzle Less Gas," 17 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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Statistics for coast

Last Updated

9 Dec 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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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