a person or thing that coasts.
a small dish, tray, or mat, especially for placing under a glass to protect a table from moisture.
a ship engaged in coastwise trade.
a sled for coasting.
a tray for holding a decanter to be passed around a dining table.

Origin of coaster

First recorded in 1565–75; coast + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for coaster

plate, board, coaster, salver

Examples from the Web for coaster

Contemporary Examples of coaster

  • A stained, ringed leather Milwaukee Brewers coaster (I used to live five minutes from the stadium).

    The Daily Beast logo
    Benjamin Percy: How I Write

    Noah Charney

    June 5, 2013

Historical Examples of coaster

  • He had gone aboard one of the vessels—a coaster from Boston.

  • Then there was some probability of being put in a coaster; which we might run away with.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The brigantine was not a Turks Islands boat, but a coaster from Jamaica.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • At sunrise the schooner weighed anchor, in order to accompany the coaster.

  • He was a coaster and he was naturally cautious, as Apple-treers are obliged to be.

British Dictionary definitions for coaster



British a vessel or trader engaged in coastal commerce
a small tray, sometimes on wheels, for holding a decanter, wine bottle, etc
a person or thing that coasts
a protective disc or mat for glasses or bottles
US short for roller coaster
Western African a European resident on the coast



NZ a person from the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for coaster

1570s, "one who sails along coasts," agent noun from coast (v.) in its original sense "to go around the sides or border" of something. Applied to vessels for such sailing from 1680s. Tabletop drink stand (c.1887), originally "round tray for a decanter," so called from a resemblance to a sled, or because it "coasted" around the perimeter of the table to each guest in turn after dinner.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper