\ 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 ona company coasting on its good reputation

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Other Words from coast


coastal \ ˈkō-​stᵊl How to pronounce coast (audio) \ adjective
coastwise \ ˈkōst-​ˌwīz How to pronounce coast (audio) \ adverb or adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for coast

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of coast in a Sentence

Noun He lives on the coast. He's flying out to the Coast tomorrow. Verb 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 On New Year’s Eve a boat carrying 60 of Sanker’s maskless partygoers off the coast of Nuevo Vallarta capsized, sending circuit boys overboard as many held their smartphones aloft from the sea while waiting to be rescued. Tony Bravo,, "#gaysovercovid reminds us that it’s OK to clap back on bad pandemic behavior," 15 Jan. 2021 The island of Miyajima — off the coast from Hiroshima — has a particular charm when the last ferry sails to the mainland at night, all the tourists are gone, and peace descends on the island. Juliet Pennington,, "One pandemic perk? Plenty more volunteers at Unity Farm Sanctuary," 14 Jan. 2021 The Ndros, though, was the only one among those names to appear off the coast of Venezuela by satellite signal. Lucia Kassai,, "Pacific Island Nation Tells Venezuela ‘That Oil Tanker Isn’t Ours’," 14 Jan. 2021 The smooth species, which hasn’t been seen since 1802, lived off the coast of Tasmania and was probably common when it was first collected by naturalists. John R. Platt, Scientific American, "What We've Lost: The Species Declared Extinct in 2020," 13 Jan. 2021 In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect. New York Times, Star Tribune, "New York Times bestsellers," 12 Jan. 2021 Yet the unit has pulled off rescues of South Korean nationals in the region before -- most notably in 2011, off the coast of Somalia. Jake Kwon, CNN, "South Korea sends anti-piracy unit to Persian Gulf after Iran seizes tanker," 5 Jan. 2021 Maritime security firms say a suspicious object has been found on the hull of an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Iraq. Fox News, "Security firms say suspicious object on oil tanker off Iraq," 1 Jan. 2021 Rosanna Xia of the Los Angeles Times investigated how thousands of barrels containing the highly toxic pesticide DDT were dumped off the coast of the country's second-largest city. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Congress battles over relief checks while oil companies are bailed out," 31 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet, Florida’s toughest opponent these days is the temptation and tendency to coast against inferior competition. Edgar Thompson,, "UF vs. Tennessee is high stakes game for Gators, but lacks fanfare," 3 Dec. 2020 Very small gears are helpful for steep climbs, while big ones help maintain speed on long descents that aren’t steep enough to coast. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "How Much Should You Spend on a Gravel Bike?," 19 Dec. 2020 Prospects will debut and develop, but without major improvements, new manager AJ Hinch isn't going to coast to the postseason. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila 'resisting urge' to spend big, taking his time in free agency," 12 Dec. 2020 The easier path would have been for the Cougars to coast to a 10-0 record, fall short of a New Year's Six bowl game and complain for the rest of eternity that they got screwed. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: LSU's national championship starting to feel like a distant memory as embarrassing losses mount," 7 Dec. 2020 Coast to coast and in between, tens of thousands of people celebrated and some protested after Joe Biden was projected to win the presidential election. CBS News, "Election celebrations and protests concern health officials as COVID-19 cases spike," 9 Nov. 2020 Otherwise, VeeKay, the full-time Ed Carpenter Racing driver, can coast to the title that’s been won by Rosenqvist, Robert Wickens, Ed Jones and Rossi the past four years. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Winless drivers, the top-10 battle and the Leaders Circle: 6 storylines outside the IndyCar title race," 20 Oct. 2020 Switching it off allows the P8 to coast, with both regenerative and friction braking controlled by the left pedal. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge Puts Volvo in the EV Game," 2 Oct. 2020 The Seahawks should coast, which would drop the Dolphins to 1-3 before a two-game stretch on the road at San Francisco and Denver. Keven Lerner,, "Staff predictions: Miami Dolphins (1-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (3-0)," 1 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for coast

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for coast

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for coast


How to pronounce coast (audio)

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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Comments on coast

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