\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

To the north, Tropical Storm Chris was squatting Monday about 215 miles (350 kilometers) off the coast of the Carolinas. Danica Coto, The Seattle Times, "Power outages, flooding hits Puerto Rico, USVI amid storms," 9 July 2018 But the influence of entities like the California Coastal Commission — even on areas miles from the coast — is difficult to overcome. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Real estate expert talks about potential impact of rent control," 12 July 2018 Weather forecasters say Tropical Storm Chris has reached hurricane strength while moving away from the U.S. coast in the Atlantic. Fox News, "Tropical Storm Chris reaches hurricane strength in Atlantic," 10 July 2018 High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected to spread from the North Carolina coast to New England for several days. Alix Langone, Time, "This Is Hurricane Chris' Path and Forecast," 10 July 2018 Flannery said this was before boats could make a trip from the Northeast coast of the United States to the Bahamas in hours. Meryl Kornfield,, "6 fun things about Pier 66 you probably didn't know," 6 July 2018 Dorcette is a testament to the work that Orndoff, co-owner of Blue Lion, has put in over the past 11 years to grow the sport of lacrosse in Kansas City — a sport that is typically dominated by players and teams from the east coast. Shaun Goodwin, kansascity, "Blue Lion KC trying to break economic boundaries as it grows lacrosse in Kansas City," 6 July 2018 The discounted routes from the west coast fly into Kona International Airport on the Big Island and Lihue Airport on Kauai. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Deal: West Coast to Hawaii from $360 Round-Trip," 25 June 2018 Fast Most countries control fishing or have agreements to share rights within a 200-mile exclusive economic zone around their coasts. Craig Welch, National Geographic, "Climate Change May Spark Global ‘Fish Wars’," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Madrid won the earlier matchup this season, coasting in a 3-0 rout in November. Avi Creditor,, "How to Watch Las Palmas vs. Real Madrid: La Liga Live Stream, TV Channel," 31 Mar. 2018 After coasting through the first four innings, two lengthy at-bats ended in walks and a third free pass loaded the bases. Dave Melton, Post-Tribune, "Getting better all the time: Chad Patrick finds groove pitching for Oilmen," 9 July 2018 Golden State paced the league in offensive efficiency, coasted to the league’s third-best record, and landed four players on the All-Star team. Ben Golliver,, "Crash Course: Warriors, Rockets Set For Epic West Finals Showdown," 9 May 2018 So instead of coasting and burning up that kinetic energy with brakes, the regen system captures the energy and delivers it to the batteries. Robert Duffer,, "2017 Chevy Bolt is a good car with great implications," 22 May 2017 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

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

11 Nov 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

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full of whispering sounds

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