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From Middle English coste, cooste (rib", also "shore), from Old French coste, from Latin costa (rib, side, edge).



coast (plural coasts)

  1. The edge of the land where it meets an ocean, sea, gulf, bay, or large lake. [from 14th c.]
    The rocky coast of Maine has few beaches.
  2. (obsolete) The side or edge of something. [15th-18th c.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Isaac Newton to this entry?)
  3. (obsolete) A region of land; a district or country. [14th-17th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale (translator), Bible, Matthew 2
      Then Herod perceavynge that he was moocked off the wyse men, was excedynge wroth, and sent forth and slue all the chyldren that were in bethleem, and in all the costes thereof []
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], chapter II, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition ii, section 3:
      P. Crescentius, in his lib. 1 de agric. cap. 5, is very copious in this subject, how a house should be wholesomely sited, in a good coast, good air, wind, etc.
  4. (obsolete) A region of the air or heavens. [14th-17th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III iii
      the learned Merlin, well could tell, / Vnder what coast of heauen the man did dwell []



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coast (third-person singular simple present coasts, present participle coasting, simple past and past participle coasted)

  1. (intransitive) To glide along without adding energy; to allow a vehicle to continue moving forward after disengaging the engine or ceasing to apply motive power.
    When I ran out of gas, fortunately I managed to coast into a nearby gas station.
    • 2020 September 23, “Network News: AWC employs coasting to minimise disruption”, in Rail, page 26:
      Avanti West Coast has introduced the use of coasting with its Pendolino fleet, in an effort to keep disruption during overhead line equipment failures to a minimum. [...] The Class 390s coasted for three miles without power between Harrow & Wealdstone and Wembley Central, running under damaged OLE.
  2. (intransitive, nautical) To sail along a coast.
    • 1727, John Arbuthnot, Tables of Ancient Coins, Weights and Measures. Explain'd and exemplify'd in several dissertations
      The Ancients coasted only in their Navigations.
  3. (intransitive) To make a minimal effort; to continue to do something in a routine way, without initiative or effort.
  4. (intransitive, obsolete) To draw near to; to approach; to keep near, or by the side of.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hakluyt to this entry?)
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To sail by or near; to follow the coastline of.
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To conduct along a coast or river bank.
    • 1589, Richard Hakluyt, The Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries of the English Nation, [], imprinted at London: By George Bishop and Ralph Newberie, deputies to Christopher Barker, printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majestie, OCLC 753964576:
      The Indians [] coasted me a long the river.
  7. (US, dialect) To slide downhill; to slide on a sled upon snow or ice.