- the land next to the sea; seashore: the rocky coast of Maine.
- the region adjoining it: They live on the coast, a few miles from the sea.
- a hill or slope down which one may slide on a sled.
- a slide or ride down a hill or slope, as on a sled.
- Obsolete. the boundary or border of a country.
- the Coast, Informal. (in the U.S. and Canada) the region bordering on the Pacific Ocean; the West Coast: I'm flying out to the Coast next week.
- to slide on a sled down a snowy or icy hillside or incline.
- to descend a hill or the like, as on a bicycle, without using pedals.
- to continue to move or advance after effort has ceased; keep going on acquired momentum: We cut off the car engine and coasted for a while.
- to advance or proceed with little or no effort, especially owing to one's actual or former assets, as wealth, position, or name, or those of another: The actor coasted to stardom on his father's name.
- to sail along, or call at the various ports of, a coast.
- Obsolete. to proceed in a roundabout way.
- to cause to move along under acquired momentum: to coast a rocket around the sun.
- to proceed along or near the coast of.
- Obsolete. to keep alongside of (a person moving).
- Obsolete. to go by the side or border of.
- the coast is clear, no danger or impediment exists; no persons are in the path or vicinity: The boys waited until the coast was clear before climbing over the wall.
Origin of coast
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for coasting
For far too long, we have been coasting on a moral authority to which we long ago lost any clear title.After Torture Report, Our Moral Authority As a Nation Is Gone
December 11, 2014
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback should be coasting to re-election this fall.Sam Brownback’s Kansas Catastrophe
July 20, 2014
“I wanted to let him know ‘I was coming for you’ and there was no coasting,” Miller said.The Can't-Miss Sochi Showdown: Bode Miller And Ted Ligety
February 9, 2014
In 1992, after the early stumbles, Bill was coasting to the nomination as winter surrendered to spring.Clintons Christen Bill de Blasio to Shore Up Hillary’s Left
January 1, 2014
“From then on, I was coasting,” he says—except that he had to recruit victims.VIP Portrait Show
Judith H. Dobrzynski
November 12, 2010
The policy of excluding the coasting trade from the measure he also condemned.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
It was very late, and they had over-passed the allotted time for coasting.Rico and Wiseli
It is even to be met with in the tiny cabin of a coasting vessel.The Slave Of The Lamp
Henry Seton Merriman
In coasting down a hill, it is difficult to stop at the bottom.Common Science
Carleton W. Washburne
From hence we rowed down the stream, coasting the province of Parino.The Discovery of Guiana
Sir Walter Raleigh
- the line or zone where the land meets the sea or some other large expanse of water
- (in combination)coastland
- British the seaside
- a slope down which a sledge may slide
- the act or an instance of sliding down a slope
- obsolete borderland or frontier
- the coast is clear informal the obstacles or dangers are gone
- to move or cause to move by momentum or force of gravity
- (intr) to proceed without great effortto coast to victory
- to sail along (a coast)
Word Origin and History for coasting
"margin of the land," early 14c.; earlier "rib as a part of the body" (early 12c.), from Old French coste "rib, side, flank; slope, incline;" later "coast, shore" (12c., Modern French côte), from Latin costa "a rib," perhaps related to a root word for "bone" (cf. Old Church Slavonic kosti "bone," also see osseous).
Latin costa developed a secondary sense in Medieval Latin of "the shore," via notion of the "side" of the land, as well as "side of a hill," and this passed into Romanic (e.g. Italian costa "coast, side," Spanish cuesta "slope," costa "coast"), but only in the Germanic languages that borrowed it is it fully specialized in this sense (e.g. Dutch kust, Swedish kust, German Küste, Danish kyst). French also used this word for "hillside, slope," which led to verb meaning "sled downhill," first attested 1775 in American English. Expression the coast is clear (16c.) is an image of landing on a shore unguarded by enemies.
late 14c., "to skirt, to go around the sides, to go along the border" of something (as a ship does the coastline), from Anglo-French costien, from the French source of coast (n.). The meaning "sled downhill," first attested 1775 in American English, is a separate borrowing. Of motor vehicles, "to move without thrust from the engine," by 1925; figurative use, of persons, "not to exert oneself," by 1934. Related: Coasted; coasting.