Definition of coast in English:



  • 1The part of the land adjoining or near the sea.

    ‘the west coast of Africa’
    ‘they sailed further up the coast’
    • ‘He has fished tuna in the Bay of Biscay and off the south west coast.’
    • ‘There's been a big buildup in military capability, in missiles deployed along the mainland coast.’
    • ‘Irrigated rice agriculture is also practiced in numerous smaller river deltas and plains along the country's coast.’
    • ‘Port Moresby on the island's southern coast was only 340 sea miles from Australia.’
    • ‘Trade was extremely limited, and ships only rarely sailed to the country's coast.’
    • ‘They have a widespread range and can be found on the coasts of six continents in the winter.’
    • ‘The coast road is virtually closed with two or three sets of traffic lights.’
    • ‘How it was ever going to reach the Atlantic coast was anybody's guess.’
    • ‘Some algae have been observed in large numbers off the South East coast.’
    • ‘The search for a missing yachtsman whose boat ran aground on the North East coast has been scaled down.’
    • ‘They have now moved to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on the south west coast.’
    • ‘They explored the coast, seeing birds of all kinds.’
    • ‘The hurricane hit the coast with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles an hour.’
    • ‘At one time we were fishing off the Labrador coast.’
    • ‘Apparently it is expected to pick up speed as it approaches the coast.’
    • ‘Many mangrove forest areas along the country's coast have been converted into fish farms.’
    • ‘There are also plans to have some naval vessels patrol the West African coast.’
    • ‘Slavic peoples migrated into the Balkans and along the Dalmatian coast in the sixth century.’
    • ‘They had turned to the right and were now following the coast road west.’
    • ‘As we crossed the coast of the mainland, we dropped the wing tanks and prepared to face enemy aircraft.’
    seaboard, coastal region, coastline, seashore, shore, shoreline, seaside, beach, sand, sands, foreshore, waterside, water's edge, waterfront
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    1. 1.1North American The Pacific coast of North America.
  • 2The easy movement of a vehicle without the use of power.

    ‘once the coast to the moon had begun, Apollo was separated from the third stage’


  • 1[no object] (of a person or vehicle) move easily without using power.

    ‘they were coasting down a long hill’
    • ‘Driving through the streets, I noticed a lot of drivers just coasted through stop signs, totally ignoring who might actually have the right of way.’
    • ‘The vehicle coasts, slowed only by tire and wind resistance.’
    • ‘I made it up one hill and coasted down the other side; after that, though I was shaky and absolutely drained, I managed to go hard.’
    • ‘Suddenly the sail is flapping and useless, the acceleration is gone, and I'm coasting gently towards the edge of the airfield, still steering with my feet.’
    • ‘I coasted to a halt, removed my helmet and sat down on the rocks, watching the lake.’
    • ‘Mostly we just coasted along in the Firebird wherever whim directed.’
    • ‘Once you are successfully coasting in the narrow stance with an upright torso, lift the left toe and get used to coasting that way.’
    • ‘There was a gas station a couple of miles up the road so I wasn't worried, I just kept going and coasted the last few hundred yards to the station.’
    • ‘Within five minutes I was coasting smoothly across the river as river tugs heaved past below.’
    • ‘Even if I ran out of gas, I'd simply coast back down to Harbourville, where I know I'd be well taken care of.’
    • ‘The impact had also apparently jarred the engine of my car, as it would not restart; it coasted to a stop at the exit at the bottom of the hill.’
    • ‘Laboriously we pushed the vehicles up the hill and then pushed off and pedaled like mad until we gained enough speed to coast the two blocks to where the street leveled off again.’
    • ‘While you are coasting with both skates parallel, move one skate forward and the other skate backward for balance.’
    • ‘In the afternoon, he coasts down the hill on his bicycle to a quaint village, stops at a Peet's coffee shop for a latte or Chai tea, and pumps back up the hill.’
    • ‘This is what I love about living in the UK, when you're quietly coasting through a perfect spring morning in this beautiful rolling countryside!’
    • ‘As we drew closer to the system I cut the engines and let the Moonshadow coast the rest of the way in.’
    • ‘There's a little strip of grass where you can coast if you blow a tire or a ventricle.’
    • ‘Any time the vehicle is coasting, it is not consuming any power, which adds many miles to the vehicle's overall range.’
    • ‘Soon they were coasting down the highway towards town.’
    • ‘He may be coasting down a hill with the gears in neutral and the engine switched off.’
    • ‘Once the radiator blew and he'd coasted onto the centre green, he popped the glove box, took out the can of beer placed there for that specific occasion and stood around yacking to the other drivers that had already been knocked out.’
    • ‘I closed the door with the belt hanging out, so it would work as a mechanism to keep the car going straight when I coasted it down the hill.’
    1. 1.1Proceed without making much effort.
      ‘Colchester coasted to victory’
      • ‘Nevertheless, when the time finally came to find an heir, he was still the golden boy and coasted to victory.’
      • ‘Maybe you're coasting through a too-familiar routine: shower, coffee, work, sandwich, work, gym, home, dinner, TV, sleep.’
      • ‘He is a member of the Anglo-Irish upper classes; he has coasted along in life, acquiring accolades and a beautiful wife in America with no effort, just an attitude and an accent which charm.’
      • ‘The locker room is bursting with rich, young, immature players and over-the-hill veterans coasting toward retirement while collecting a nice paycheck.’
      • ‘Quarry appeared to get tired in the middle rounds and gave the impression of coasting his way to victory.’
      • ‘They were coasting, a goal ahead, never in trouble, and then disaster struck in the third minute of added time.’
      • ‘He labors diligently and earnestly at his craft at a stage in his career when he could coast instead.’
      • ‘A friend of mine once made the pointed observation that many of these students simply coast along doing only a part or none of the readings.’
      • ‘And worryingly for their rivals, not only have New Zealand coasted to the second grand slam but they have also developed an international squad of remarkable depth in the process.’
      • ‘Waterloo never looked back and coasted to a 56-50 victory, with Mike Sovran leading the way with 12 points and 7 rebounds.’
      • ‘Saints coasted to a very comfortable 60-16 victory, after a devastating first-half performance which emphasised the gap between the top and bottom of Super League.’
      • ‘There you are, coasting your way through a Bachelor of Arts degree.’
      • ‘The incomparable Bennett, who'd seized control of the women's race almost from the outset, coasted to her fourth victory in five attempts.’
      • ‘After that, the men in white coasted to a victory which was every bit as comfortable as the score suggests.’
      • ‘He ended up winning the primary and then coasting to victory in his Democratic district.’
      • ‘I knew I was coasting, and that I'm capable of so much more.’
      • ‘Australia coasted to victory in the first Test at Lord's but it was fallacious.’
      • ‘I've coasted along in college, doing last-minute papers, forgetting to study for tests, forgetting there was a test, falling into a coma in class, maximizing my cuts.’
      • ‘A controversial report written by a top policemen says too many officers are coasting towards their lucrative pensions and contributing little to the fight against crime.’
      • ‘Initially they were coasting to an easy win at 21-10 after 15 ends.’
      • ‘In the college ranks, top players often coast by on sheer ability; in the pros, everyone gets physically whipped sooner or later.’
      freewheel, cruise, taxi, drift, glide, sail, float, skate, slip, skim
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  • 2[no object, with adverbial of direction] Sail along the coast, especially in order to carry cargo.

    ‘a coasting schooner’
    • ‘A small red ferryboat gently coasted on its way to San Fransisco.’
    • ‘After coasting along the shores of Brazil and advancing up the River Amazon, then called Marañon, he returned by way of Hispaniola, to be driven for refuge from storm into the port of Aguada.’
    • ‘Instead, he bumped into the Americas on his first voyage of discovery, landing first somewhere in the Bahamas, and then coasting along Cuba, before eventually returning to Spain.’


  • the coast is clear

    • There is no danger of being observed or caught.

      ‘the streetcleaners kept stopping off for a smoke when the coast was clear’
      • ‘Once finally convinced the coast was clear, Gabby nonetheless tiptoed her way down the hall and slipped into the room.’
      • ‘Once the coast was clear the elf leaped gracefully from the tree and Miaku followed.’
      • ‘Once the coast was clear, he would get to the second floor somehow and then he would get to Juliet, hopefully before night fell.’
      • ‘And then, if the coast is clear, we can safely follow.’
      • ‘We'll wait until the coast is clear, hide the stuff, and then go after them.’
      • ‘‘Okay, the coast is clear,’ she whispered, ‘but try not to be too noisy.’’
      • ‘He made his way out of the room once the coast was clear.’
      • ‘She then looks up and down the street, as if she's making sure the coast is clear, and then she just takes off.’
      • ‘They all start running off and, thinking the coast is clear, I get out of my car.’
      • ‘He would then park the cars a few miles away before returning days later to check the coast was clear before selling the vehicle on.’
      • ‘Our characters were supposed to look around to make sure the coast is clear, then jump in the truck and race off.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘side of the body’), from Old French coste (noun), costeier (verb), from Latin costa rib, flank, side. coast arose from the phrase coast of the sea ‘side of the sea’.