Definition of coast noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//kəʊst//
; NAmE NAmE//koʊst//
Coastlines and the sea
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  •   [countable, uncountable] the land beside or near to the sea or ocean a town on the south coast of England islands off the west coast of Ireland a trip to the coast We walked along the coast for five miles. the Welsh coast a pretty stretch of coast the coast road Synonymscoastbeach seaside coastline sand seashoreThese are all words for the land beside or near to the sea, a river or a lake.coast the land beside or near to the sea or ocean:a town on the south coast of England The coast road is closed due to bad weather. It is nearly always the coast, except when it is uncountable:That’s a pretty stretch of coast.beach an area of sand, or small stones, beside the sea or a lake:She took the kids to the beach for the day. sandy beachesseaside (especially British English) an area that is by the sea, especially one where people go for a day or a holiday:a trip to the seaside It is always the seaside, except when it is used before a noun:a seaside resort. The seaside is British English; in American English seaside is only used before a noun.coastline the land along a coast, especially when you are thinking of its shape or appearance:California’s rugged coastlinesand a large area of sand on a beach:We went for a walk along the sand. a resort with miles of golden sandsthe seashore the land along the edge of the sea or ocean, usually where there is sand and rocks:He liked to look for shells on the seashore.beach or seashore? Beach is usually used to talk about a sandy area next to the sea where people lie in the sun or play, for example when they are on holiday/​vacation. Seashore is used more to talk about the area by the sea in terms of things such as waves, sea shells, rocks, etc, especially where people walk for pleasure.Patterns along the coast/​beach/​coastline/​seashore on the coast/​beach/​coastline/​sands/​seashore at the coast/​beach/​seaside/​seashore by the coast/​seaside/​seashore a(n) rocky/​unspoiled coast/​beach/​coastline to go to the coast/​beach/​seaside/​seashore Wordfinderbeach, coast, harbour, pier, sandbank, sea, shoreline, surf, tide, wave Wordfinderbeach, cliff, coast, dune, headland, inlet, promontory, sea, shore, tide See related entries: Coastlines and the sea
  • Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘side of the body’), from Old French coste (noun), costeier (verb), from Latin costa ‘rib, flank, side’. The current noun sense arose from the phrase coast of the sea ‘side of the sea’.Extra examples The coast stretched far into the distance. The path hugs the coast all the way to Riomaggiore. They sailed around the coast to St John’s. This stretch of coast is famous for its beaches. We drove south along the coast. We spent a day at the coast. a village on the Mediterranean coast an island two miles off the coast of Brazil the long stretch of coast between Lowestoft and Felixstowe Have you visited any of the islands off the west coast of Ireland? He disappeared in a mountainous area near the Welsh coast. That’s a pretty stretch of coast. The coast road is closed due to bad weather. The next scene is famously set on ‘a sea coast in Bohemia’. We live in a town on the south coast of England.Idioms (informal) there is no danger of being seen or caught As soon as the coast was clear he climbed in through the window.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: coast