coast


coast
/kohst/, n.
1. the land next to the sea; seashore: the rocky coast of Maine.
2. the region adjoining it: They live on the coast, a few miles from the sea.
3. a hill or slope down which one may slide on a sled.
4. a slide or ride down a hill or slope, as on a sled.
5. Obs. the boundary or border of a country.
6. the Coast, Informal. (in the U.S. and Canada) the region bordering on the Pacific Ocean; the West Coast: I'm flying out to the Coast next week.
7. the coast is clear, no danger or impediment exists; no persons are in the path or vicinity: The boys waited until the coast was clear before climbing over the wall.
v.i.
8. to slide on a sled down a snowy or icy hillside or incline.
9. to descend a hill or the like, as on a bicycle, without using pedals.
10. to continue to move or advance after effort has ceased; keep going on acquired momentum: We cut off the car engine and coasted for a while.
11. to advance or proceed with little or no effort, esp. owing to one's actual or former assets, as wealth, position, or name, or those of another: The actor coasted to stardom on his father's name.
12. to sail along, or call at the various ports of, a coast.
13. Obs. to proceed in a roundabout way.
v.t.
14. to cause to move along under acquired momentum: to coast a rocket around the sun.
15. to proceed along or near the coast of.
16. Obs. to keep alongside of (a person moving).
17. Obs. to go by the side or border of.
[1325-75; (n.) ME cost(e) < AF, MF < L costa rib, side, wall; (v.) ME cost(e)yen, costen < AF costeier, OF costoier, deriv. of the n.]
Syn. 1. strand, seaside, littoral. See shore1.

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I

Broad area of land that borders the sea.

The coastlines of the world's continents measure about 193,000 mi (312,000 km). They have undergone shifts in position and changes in shape over geologic time because of substantial changes in the relative levels of land and sea. Other factors that alter coasts are erosion processes such as wave action and weathering, deposition of rock debris by currents, and tectonic activity. Coastal features result largely from the interaction and relative intensity of these processes, though the type and structure of the underlying rocks also play a part.
II
(as used in expressions)
Pacific Coast Ranges
Miskito Coast

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also called  shore  
 broad area of land that borders the sea.

      A brief treatment of coasts follows. For full treatment, see coastal landforms.

      The coastlines of the world's continents measure about 312,000 km (193,000 miles). They have undergone shifts in position over geologic time because of substantial changes in the relative levels of land and sea. Studies of glaciations during the Pleistocene Epoch (1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago) indicate that drops in sea level caused by the removal of water from the oceans during glacial advances affected all coastal areas. During the last Pleistocene glacial period, the sea level is thought to have been almost 122 m (400 feet) lower than it is today, resulting in the exposure of large portions of what is now the continental shelf.

      Such changes in sea level have also played an important role in shaping the coasts. Glacial ice descending from coastal mountains in Alaska, Norway, and certain other areas excavated deep U-shaped depressions in times of lowered sea level. When the glacial ice melted and the level of the sea rose again, these steep-sided valleys were inundated, forming fjords (fjord). Estuaries (estuary), formed by the flooding of coastal river valleys, also are found in regions where the sea level has risen significantly.

      Other factors that are instrumental in molding the topography of coasts are destructive erosional (erosion) processes (e.g., wave action and chemical weathering), deposition of rock debris by currents, and tectonic activity that causes an uplifting or sinking of the Earth's crust. The configuration and distinctive landforms of any given coast result largely from the interaction of these processes and their relative intensity, though the type and structure of the rock material underlying the area also have a bearing. For example, coastal terrains of massive sedimentary rock that have been uplifted by tectonic forces and subjected to intense wave erosion are characterized by steep cliffs extending out into the water. These nearly vertical sea cliffs generally alternate with irregularly shaped bays and narrow inlets. By contrast, wide sandy beaches and relatively smooth plains of unconsolidated sediment prevail in areas of crustal subsidence where deposition is intense. Such coasts are characterized by sandbars paralleling the shoreline, as well as by tidal flats.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coast FM — may refer to: Heart North Wales Coast, commercial radio station in North Wales Coast FM Tasmania, community radio station in Tasmania, Australia Coast FM (Tenerife), radio station in Tenerife, Canary Islands Coast FM (Warrnambool), Australian… …   Wikipedia

  • Coast — (k[=o]st), n. [OF. coste, F. c[^o]te, rib, hill, shore, coast, L. costa rib, side. Cf. {Accost}, v. t., {Cutlet}.] 1. The side of a thing. [Obs.] Sir I. Newton. [1913 Webster] 2. The exterior line, limit, or border of a country; frontier border.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • coast — UK US /kəʊst/ noun [C] ► the land next to or close to the sea: »The oil spill happened just off the Spanish coast. the east/west coast »He grew up on the west coast, in California. ● coast to coast Cf. coast to coast …   Financial and business terms

  • coast — coast; coast·al; coast·er; coast·ing; coast·ways; coast·ward; coast·wise; coast·al·ly; …   English syllables

  • coast — [kōst] n. [ME coste, coast < OFr, a rib, hill, shore, coast < L costa, a rib, side] 1. land alongside the sea; seashore 2. Obs. frontier; borderland ☆ 3. [< CdnFr, hillside, slope] an incline down which a slide is taken ☆ 4. a slide or… …   English World dictionary

  • COAST — steht für: Cache on a stick, ein kleines Modul mit Speicherbausteinen Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope, ein astronomisches Interferometer in Cambridgeshire, England Coast bezeichnet: Coast (Kenia), eine kenianische Provinz Coast Air …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Coast — Coast, v. t. 1. To draw near to; to approach; to keep near, or by the side of. [Obs.] Hakluyt. [1913 Webster] 2. To sail by or near; to follow the coast line of. [1913 Webster] Nearchus, . . . not knowing the compass, was fain to coast that shore …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • coast — (n.) margin of the land, early 14c.; earlier rib as a part of the body (early 12c.), from O.Fr. coste rib, side, flank; slope, incline; later coast, shore (12c., Mod.Fr. côte), from L. costa a rib, perhaps related to a root word for bone (Cf. O.C …   Etymology dictionary

  • Coast — (k[=o]st), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Coasted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Coasting}.] [OE. costien, costeien, costen, OF. costier, costoier, F. c[^o]toyer, fr. Of. coste coast, F. c[^o]te. See {Coast}, n.] 1. To draw or keep near; to approach. [Obs.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Coast — Coast …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • coast — ► NOUN 1) land adjoining or near the sea. 2) the easy movement of a vehicle without the use of power. ► VERB 1) move easily without using power. 2) act or make progress without making much effort: United coasted to victory. 3) sail along the… …   English terms dictionary


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