\ 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 \ ˈkō-​stᵊl \ 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

Panama is a tropical spot, but the water in Gulf of Panama, on the country’s central Pacific coast, can get pretty chilly. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The skulls of ancient pearl divers come with abnormal ear canal bone growths," 28 Dec. 2018 SoulCycle’s own growth barrier is that classes only occur at its 90 gyms, which are located predominantly in affluent communities along the coasts. Rani Molla, Recode, "Peloton now has more U.S. customers than SoulCycle, new data suggests," 3 Dec. 2018 The 21-year-old didn't wear a coat despite the east coast chills. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner Wore an IRO Denim Jumpsuit While on Tour With Travis Scott and Stormi," 30 Nov. 2018 For most of us, though, the 800 islands in a stretch of the Andaman Sea off Myanmar’s southern coast barely feature on a map, let alone our list of places to go for Spring Break. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Allure of Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago," 19 Nov. 2018 The famed space coast site also has a 15,000-foot runway, a veteran of more than 130 Space Shuttle landings. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Cape Canaveral Can Now Launch Commercial Spaceplanes," 9 Nov. 2018 The South Island’s mountainous, dramatic southwestern coast is home to breeding colonies of the Fiordland penguin, though the animals don’t maintain residence there year-round. 15. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Penguins," 6 Nov. 2018 Maine and Delaware follow Hawaii for the highest search volume, and, in fact, the majority of the top 10 are east-coast states, with Rhode Island, West Virginia, South Carolina and New Hampshire following the Pine Tree State and First State. Marci Robin, Allure, "Google Searches May Reveal Which States Have Gotten the Most Sunburns So Far This Summer," 12 Aug. 2018 The dives occurred along the southeastern coast of the North America and often had the ROV travel to the sea floor of the area. Kelli Bender, ajc, "'Horror' lizardfish and weird unidentifiable creatures found chilling off Carolina coast," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

All of the empirical evidence pointed to the Dodgers, with their unparalleled depth and dynamic pitching, coasting into the postseason. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Brewers-Dodgers: A Matchup of Baseball’s Hottest Teams," 11 Oct. 2018 Incumbent Dianne Feinstein should coast to her fifth full term. George Skelton,, "Newsom ran a brilliant campaign, but voters deserve some details by November," 7 June 2018 On the girls side, Timber Creek should coast to a team title. Randy Sachs, star-telegram, "The path to state starts this weekend. But where have the favorites been?," 9 Feb. 2018 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

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

Statistics for coast

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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).


someone who never drinks alcohol

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!