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.
To sail or move along the coast or border of.
[Middle English coste, from Old French, from Latin costa, side; see kost- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
coastal (kōstəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.