\ 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

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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

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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

In Fort Lauderdale, along the South Florida coast, gas stations were empty, stores were sold out of water, and grocery shelves were barren. Washington Post, "Florida’s Atlantic Coast is preparing for a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian," 30 Aug. 2019 Florida has not yet issued any evacuation orders to citizens along the coast, but 26 counties remain under a state of emergency. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Dorian Now 1 mph Shy of Being a ‘Major Hurricane’ as Storm Inches Towards Florida," 30 Aug. 2019 Landfall could happen anywhere along Florida's Atlantic coast, Parkinson reports. CBS News, "Dorian may be "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall -- live updates," 29 Aug. 2019 All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts. Tiffini Theisen,, "Hurricane Dorian could hit Florida as ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4 storm," 29 Aug. 2019 All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts. NBC News, "Florida gets ready for potential category 4 hurricane as Dorian rages closer," 29 Aug. 2019 The latest forecast cone shows the storm making landfall near somewhere along the Florida coast. Htv National Desk, Houston Chronicle, "Dorian could become Category 3 hurricane, make landfall in Florida," 28 Aug. 2019 But further north along the Mediterranean coast, mollusks do show up at other sites from the same period. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Neanderthals suffered from a veritable epidemic of swimmer’s ear," 19 Aug. 2019 The area only has a 20 percent chance of development over the next five days and is expected to move northeast, along the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas., "Hurricane Center eyes low pressure area in the Gulf of Mexico," 17 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Biden has coasted, holding roughly a third of the electorate in the polls. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Barack Obama was Joe Biden’s guardian angel at the Democratic debate," 1 Aug. 2019 The surge of freshwater, for example, has killed sea porpoises and turtles and created a toxic algal bloom along the state’s gulf coast some 300 miles away, closing all the beaches. Rory Doyle, New York Times, "Where Floods of ‘Biblical Proportion’ Drowned Towns and Farms," 30 July 2019 The probes would then coast to Alpha Centauri, more than four light years away. Elijah Wolfson, Time, "Lightsail 2's Successful Deployment Makes it the First Steerable Spacecraft Powered by the Sun," 26 July 2019 Armstrong coasted at the edge of space nearly 40 miles south of the test base, nearly reaching Pasadena before his plane finally regained aerodynamic control. Jamie Turner,, "How Neil Armstrong earned the moon landing’s lead role: Apollo 11 at 50," 16 July 2019 The entire company would coast off the fortune of its eccentric billionaire co-founder. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Elon Musk wanted The Onion; he got Thud," 2 July 2019 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

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

2 Sep 2019

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
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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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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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