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From coast +‎ -er. Compare Middle English coster (ornamental wall or bed hanging), Anglo-Latin costera (side, coast, curtain).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /kəʊ.stə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊstə(r)


coaster (plural coasters)

  1. Agent noun of coast: one who coasts.
  2. Something that coasts, such as a sled or toboggan.
  3. (nautical) A merchant vessel that stays in coastal waters.
  4. (nautical) A sailor who travels only in coastal waters.
    • 1881, Symon's monthly meteorological magazine (page 59)
      If you question a seaman on the subject, whether mere coaster or circumnavigator, he will tell you that in a snow-storm, because of its constant eddyings and gyrations, frequent trimming of sails is more necessary than in any other gale []
  5. A person who originates from or inhabits a coastal area.
  6. A small piece of material used to protect the surface of a table, upon which one places cups or mugs.
  7. A small tray on wheels, used to pass something around a table.
  8. (computing, slang) A worthless compact disc or DVD, such as one that was burned incorrectly.
  9. (informal) A rollercoaster.
  10. (Lake Superior) A coaster trout (brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis)
  11. (slang, dated) A prostitute, especially a white woman, plying her trade in Chinese port towns.
    • 1932, F. Van Wyck Mason, The Branded Spy Murders, Grosset and Dunlap, page 65:
      I think you can say this much, that from these traces of callus I'd venture she was once a ballet dancer—and later got her living otherwise—as a coaster perhaps.
    • 1933, F. Van Wyck Mason, The Shanghai Bund Murders[1], Grosset and Dunlap, page 51:
      Gently again, he raised his hand to tap on the smooth white panels of the coaster's door, but once more his interview with Ruby Braunfeld was postponed.
    • 1994, Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Romance[2], University of California Press., page 59:
      (in Shanghai Express) Once engaged to be married, Lily and Doc have been separated for more than five years because of Doc's jealous reaction to a ploy Lily had used to test his love. They meet, by chance, on the Shanghai Express. Lily has become a "coaster", a vamp who travels along the China coast looking for men to victimize, and Doc has thrown himself into his work as a British medical officer.
    • 2000, Charles Busch, Shanghai Moon[3], Samuel French, Inc.:
      I have studied your astrological chart and it fills me with more concern than hatred. If you stay in China, I fear you will end up a coaster.


  • (small piece of material for protecting the surface of a table, upon which one places the cup): beer mat, beermat

Coordinate termsEdit

  • (small piece of material for protecting the surface of a table, upon which one places the cup): saucer


See alsoEdit




coaster m (plural coasters)

  1. A kind of minibus