Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. Land next to the sea; the seashore.
b. The water near this land: fish of the Atlantic coast.
c. Coast The Pacific coast of the United States.
2. A hill or other slope down which one may coast, as on a sled.
3. The act of sliding or coasting; slide.
4. Obsolete The frontier or border of a country.
v. coast·ed, coast·ing, coasts
a. To slide down an incline through the effect of gravity.
b. To move without use of propelling power. See Synonyms at slide.
2. To act or move aimlessly or with little effort: coasted for a few weeks before applying for a job.
3. Nautical To sail near or along a coast. Nautical
To sail or move along the coast or border of.

[Middle English coste, from Old French, from Latin costa, side; see kost- in Indo-European roots.]

coast′al (kō′stəl) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Fur Trade in the Pacific- American Coasting Voyages- Russian Enterprises.- Discovery of the Columbia River.- Carver's Project to Found a Settlement There.-Mackenzie's Expedition.- Lewis and Clarke's Journey Across the Rocky Mountains- Mr.
So she used to slip out alone sometimes, when Fanny was absorbed in novels, company, or millinery, and get fine brisk walks round the park, on the unfashionable side, where the babies took their airings; or she went inside, to watch the boys coasting, and to wish she could coast too, as she did at home.
After coasting along a series of creeks abounding in lobsters and oysters, the Tampico entered the bay of Espiritu Santo, where she finally anchored in a small natural harbor, formed by the embouchure of the River Hillisborough, at seven P.M., on the 22d of October.