verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
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Idioms for coast
Origin of coast
Words nearby coast
What does coast mean?
As a noun, coast most commonly refers to the land next to the sea or ocean, or the region near it. As a verb, coast often means to move along smoothly or without much effort, but it is used differently in different contexts.
Coast has many specific definitions, but they are all related to one of these two main meanings.
Example: During our bike ride, we coasted down the mountain road, where you can see almost the entire coast of the island.
Where does coast come from?
The first records of the word coast in English comes from the 1300s. The noun form is a derivative of the Middle English word cost(e), which came from the Latin word costa, meaning “side” or “wall.” The verb form can be traced back to the same Latin word and once meant “to travel along the side or border (of a place).”
The coast is where the ocean or sea meets the land. The outline that’s formed at the border of the land is called the coastline. Coast is usually used for very large bodies of water—you typically wouldn’t use coast to refer to the banks of a small lake. The use of coast as a noun is often extended to the land around the coastline (as in a house on the coast, with a view of the beach). It is sometimes then further extended to the entire region around the coast (as in the East Coast and West Coast of the United States).
As a verb, to coast often means to travel forward using only momentum, as opposed to an external form of propulsion. For example, when you coast in a car, you keep moving without pushing down on the accelerator pedal (that is, you don’t use the motor to propel the car). When you coast on a bike, you keep moving without pedaling. In both of these cases, coasting is typically done when moving downhill or on a flat surface. To coast in a small boat like a kayak, you first need to row, unless the current is strong enough to carry you along.
This meaning of coast inspired its figurative sense—”to proceed without effort.” For example, someone who’s coasting at work has stopped working hard and is instead getting by without doing much, perhaps by relying on their past efforts or by taking advantage of the work of others. (This a lot like taking one’s foot off the gas pedal in a car or just drifting downhill on a bike without pedaling.)
Somewhat similarly, if a person or team coasts to victory in a game or competition, it means they were able to win easily, without needing to put forth maximum effort.
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How is coast used in real life?
As a noun, coast can refer to the shoreline, or the land around it, or the entire region the borders it. As a verb, coast is used literally when traveling in a vehicle using only forward momentum, or figuratively when proceeding without much effort.
Anyone else have hobbies that they can only do at certain times? I love surfing so so so much, but I live in the centre of Ireland, and can pretty much only do it in the summer, where I basically move to the coast for the three months.
— Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt (@Real__Artemis) February 21, 2020
Once, all the dials changed to zero while I was on the highway and I had to coast until an exit because it wouldn't start again #MyWorstCar
— Lauren Beauregard (@laureliz12) April 2, 2014
we won't be able to coast.
won't be able to go through the motions.
because the motions are too important.
live music is alive.
— tyler jøseph (@tylerrjoseph) June 2, 2016
Try using coast!
Which of the following words is not a synonym for the verb coast?
Example sentences from the Web for coast
Orion will orbit Earth twice before splashing down off the California coast.To Infinity and Beyond! NASA’s Orion Mission Blasts Off|Matthew R. Francis|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
You use fuel to give you the proper velocity and direction, and then you turn off your fuel tanks and coast there.Neil deGrasse Tyson Breaks Down ‘Interstellar’: Black Holes, Time Dilations, and Massive Waves|Marlow Stern|November 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In addition to Cornyn and Abbott, George P. Bush will likely coast to victory.
By 2008, his planes were shuttling staff and surgical equipment from coast to coast.
He set off from the coast of Senegal in a 24ft homemade rowboat.Victor Mooney’s Epic Adventure for His Dead Brother|Justin Jones|October 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The King subsequently sailed on his intended visit to the sister island, and arrived off the coast in due course.Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 1820-1830 (Vol 1)|Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
Along the coast of Algeria the heat is tempered by the sea breeze.The World and Its People: Book VII|Anna B. Badlam
It then forms the divide between the Cauca and Atrato valleys, and terminates near the Caribbean coast.
I happened to be on leave with the missus at Havley, which is only twelve miles or so along the coast.Trent's Last Case|E.C. (Edmund Clerihew) Bentley
The night on which we entered the Gulf Stream, off the coast of the Carolinas, the weather was exceedingly suspicious.Jack in the Forecastle|John Sherburne Sleeper
British Dictionary definitions for coast
- the line or zone where the land meets the sea or some other large expanse of water
- (in combination)coastland
- a slope down which a sledge may slide
- the act or an instance of sliding down a slope