\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

At East Boston Stadium, the Jets ushered in the preseason under clear skies and with a strong, cool wind off the coast. Nate Weitzer,, "Coach George Peterson brings energy to first Chelmsford practice," 16 Aug. 2019 Despite its glitzy reputation as the ultimate European destination for clubbers, Ibiza—the third-largest Balearic island, located off the coast of Spain—offers much more than an endless party. National Geographic, "Ibiza beyond the clubs: 10 can’t-miss experiences," 16 Aug. 2019 My father was born in southern Italy, near Bari, and my mom’s family (Aiello) emigrated from an island off the coast of Naples, and so these were everyday expressions in the Loconte household. Joseph Loconte, National Review, "An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults," 16 Aug. 2019 Experts say, however, that smaller quakes off the coast are not necessarily indicative that a larger quake is imminent., "Magnitude 5.4 quake strikes off Oregon coast," 16 Aug. 2019 Around noon one August day in 2011, a familiar dorsal fin rose from the sea off the coast of Massachusetts. Doug Johnson, Quartz, "Elephants and whales could give us the cure for cancer—unless we keep killing them," 14 Aug. 2019 Carter and Brody split earlier this month just a year after their wedding off the coast of Indonesia. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Why Am I So Obsessed With Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Breakup?," 14 Aug. 2019 Hoshijima was found unresponsive on the surface of the ocean off the coast of Glacier Bay National Park on Wednesday, according to the National Parks Service. Nick Ibarra, The Mercury News, "UC Santa Cruz mourns death of young researcher killed in diving accident," 13 Aug. 2019 In January 2012, Eric Bettanin, an Australian Army officer, took his brother-in-law’s Jet Ski out for a spin off the coast of Victoria. Darryn King, Longreads, "The Young Man and the Sea Sponge," 13 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But by mid-afternoon, Webber’s stationary craft was somewhat of an oddity on the river, as sailers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology coasted about in the distance. Alison Kuznitz,, "Anchored on the Charles, awaiting the big show," 3 July 2019 The aforementioned men saw their crimes aired publicly over the past couple years, while Brown has been coasting (albeit bumpily) on sympathy and apologies for more than a decade. John Wenzel, The Know, "Commentary: Chris Brown headlining Summer Jam is a stain on Denver," 13 June 2019 Colby Covington coasted to a unanimous decision victory over Robbie Lawler in the 170-pound main event fight of a rare Saturday afternoon UFC card at Prudential Center in Newark., "Draymond Green gets $100m extension from Warriors," 3 Aug. 2019 On Tuesday night, the Miami Marlins coasted to a big win thanks to an electric offensive performance that saw the team put up 12 runs against the San Diego Padres. Christian Simmons,, "Ex-Marlins prospect Paddack stifles Miami, Padres hang on to even series," 18 July 2019 After 2 hours, 28 minutes, the speedy White Sox had coasted to a 9-0 victory behind 16 hits. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, "65 years ago today, Al Kaline did something amazing for the Detroit Tigers," 7 July 2019 Liverpool coasted to European glory last season and are expected to be strong again., "Why Real Madrid Fans Shouldn't Be Overly Optimistic Despite Summer Spending Spree," 7 July 2019 In that friendlies matchup, the U.S. coasted to a 9-0 victory. Editors, USA TODAY, "Team USA opens Women's World Cup campaign, E3 2019: 5 things to know Tuesday," 11 June 2019 That’s not an easy task considering Trump coasted to a 19-percentage point victory in the onetime bellwether state less than two years ago. Summer Ballentine, The Seattle Times, "Missouri primary sets up McCaskill-Hawley Senate clash," 7 Aug. 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

19 Aug 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
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

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).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!