\ 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 Off the southeastern coast, Corsica is worth visiting for its stunning protected nature areas. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Beautiful Places in France," 5 Nov. 2019 Some 45% of the world’s swordfish is caught off the southern coast of Italy in the Mediterranean, making the region a prime market for counterfeit fish. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "The swordfish you’re eating might actually be shark," 5 Nov. 2019 The plane disappeared from the radar about five or six miles off the Mendocino County coast somewhere between Rockport and Wheeler. Anna Bauman,, "Family calls off search for SF pair who went missing in plane, crash suspected," 5 Nov. 2019 Now, however, a team of marine archaeologists from the University of Malta, working with the Maltese government and robotics students from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., have located the wreck off the Maltese coast. Fox News, "WW II submarine discovered 77 years after it vanished in the Mediterranean," 4 Nov. 2019 Smalltooth sawfish are typically found in shallow, coastal waters, the NOAA says on its website, and in the United States they are found only off the Florida coast. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "A man could get a year in prison and a $50,000 fine for killing an endangered sawfish," 4 Nov. 2019 Tony’s mom Christine is a white British woman who grew up on the Isle of Wight, a tiny island off England’s southern coast. Hannah Howard, Longreads, "The Name Change Dilemma," 1 Nov. 2019 Like baffled clammers in Uruguay and the struggling lobster industry off the fast-warming coast of Rhode Island, islanders here are anxious about the shifting sea. Brady Dennis, Anchorage Daily News, "The sea ice used to protect them. Now their island is crumbling into the sea.," 1 Nov. 2019 Mullion Island is a tiny, uninhabited island off the south coast of Cornwall in the United Kingdom, and no one is allowed to visit the island without a permit. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Why Did Thousands of Rubber Bands Show Up on an Uninhabited Cornish Island?," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Despite losing its top running back to an injury early, Towson turned in a dominant performance against host Maine, coasting to a 45-23 victory Saturday night. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Maryland college football roundup: Towson routs Maine to go 3-0; City graduate Nah’shon Godfrey leads McDaniel past Moravian," 15 Sep. 2019 Los Angeles scored a season-high against Seattle’s strong defense while coasting to their largest victory of the season, 102-68. Brady Klopfer, Los Angeles Times, "Sparks have advantage over Storm with healthy Candace Parker," 14 Sep. 2019 The Thorns coasted to a 3-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars in their most recent game on August 25, while the Royals played the Washington Spirit to a scoreless draw on August 21. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Portland Thorns suffer 1-0 loss to Utah Royals: Highlights, live updates recap," 7 Sep. 2019 While his Mississippi State Bulldogs coasted to a 27-6 win at Middle Tennessee during the 2009 season, Mullen discovered a kindred spirit in Manny Diaz, who was the Blue Raiders’ defensive coordinator. Edgar Thompson,, "Dan Mullen, Manny Diaz set aside friendship ahead of Gators, 'Canes season opener," 20 Aug. 2019 For Driscoll’s, the rosé berry is a hit, coasting to fame on Instagrammers’ love of pink-wine posts. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "Rosé Berries Have Arrived," 11 Aug. 2019 Providence dominated the first set, coasting to an 18-4 lead on a kill by Michael Zwart. Charles Rich,, "Providence boys' volleyball goes limit to top Glendale," 10 Apr. 2018 When the battery power is depleted, the heavy regen braking setting on the gear stick will recapture power while coasting so that commute home isn’t done on gas alone. Robert Duffer,, "Volvo surges ahead of competition with XC60 plug-in hybrid," 6 Dec. 2017 After coasting along for weeks as the clear front-runner in the crowded 2020 field, the former vice president stepped into a slow-rolling ambush, yet seemed stunningly unprepared for the challenge. Clarence Page,, "Column: Kamala Harris won the moment, but Joe Biden’s still fightin’," 28 June 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

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for coast

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

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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

What made you want to look up coast? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an agreement to stop fighting a war

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