\ 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 coastal (audio) \ adjective
coastwise \ ˈkōst-​ˌwīz How to pronounce coastwise (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 The 82-foot commercial fishing boat, the Emmy Rose, sank around 20 miles off the coast of Provincetown early Monday, the Coast Guard has said. NBC News, "Search suspended for 4 after fishing boat sinks off Massachusetts coast," 25 Nov. 2020 An estimated 100 whales have died after being stranded in the remote Chatham Islands, off the coast of New Zealand. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Nearly a hundred whales found dead off remote New Zealand island," 25 Nov. 2020 Four thousand three hundred miles off the coast of Michigan were designated as Thunder Bay in 2000. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "America’s Marine Sanctuaries," 25 Nov. 2020 In 2010, researchers led by Catalina Pimiento, a paleobiologist at Swansea University, found possible evidence of a megalodon nursery off the coast of Panama. Lucy Hicks, Science | AAAS, "Megalodon was a megalo-mom," 24 Nov. 2020 Many popular holiday destinations, such as the United States or Canada, remain blocked off for English travelers, and trips to most of Europe require quarantining, except for isolated spots like Spain’s Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa. Pan Pylas, The Christian Science Monitor, "England changes quarantine rules in bid to boost holiday travel," 24 Nov. 2020 At one point, a client even tracked her down to a cruise ship off the coast of Alaska. Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker, "The Art of Building the Impossible," 23 Nov. 2020 This underwater photograph shows a male Korean seahorse (Hippocampus haema) releasing juveniles into the water off the coast of Japan. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "See a Male Seahorse Give Birth," 20 Nov. 2020 Miller and other senior staff and a media contingent traveled Wednesday to meet with troops and leaders at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and then flew out to the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, off the coast of Virginia. Lolita C. Baldor, Star Tribune, "Top Pentagon official tests positive for coronavirus," 19 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Sean Williams and Kaden Cox scored second-half touchdowns, enabling Deer Park to coast to a 24-7 victory over Clear Creek at Clyde Abshier Stadium Thursday night. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park Freshmen Gold defeats Clear Creek 24-7," 1 Oct. 2020 Against the Houston Texans, the Ravens jumped to a 10-point halftime lead and then used their grueling run game to coast to a 33-16 win. Daniel Oyefusi,, "The Ravens always lead big. The Chiefs always come back. What happens on ‘Monday Night Football?’," 25 Sep. 2020 Hoping to coast off that celebrity, Willkie swooped into the 1940 Republican nomination race. Dexter Fergie, The New Republic, "Wendell Willkie’s World Without Borders," 22 Sep. 2020 This will coincide with weak offshore flow, so should spread all the way to coast and bring extreme wildfire burning conditions once again. oregonlive, "Portland metro Tuesday weather: First fall storm arrives tonight," 22 Sep. 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

28 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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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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