Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


We began the 19th century with a choice, to spread our nation from coast to coast.

Scene changes to an inn on the coast within a few yards of Paris.

The wrack had thickened to seaward, and the coast was but a blurred line.

I got up first on the wall to make sure the coast was clear.

Oh, if you had only told me what had happened that evening on the coast!

She is going straight to the coast where they catch steamer for Japan.

It was afterwards reported, that near fifty vessels were wrecked on the Irish coast.

A boat is also the only means of realizing the beauty of the coast.

We anchored first at the Rock, but next day crossed over to the Spanish coast.

I now knew we were at sea, and were drifting directly off the coast.


"margin of the land," early 14c.; earlier "rib as a part of the body" (early 12c.), from Old French coste "rib, side, flank; slope, incline;" later "coast, shore" (12c., Modern French côte), from Latin costa "a rib," perhaps related to a root word for "bone" (cf. Old Church Slavonic kosti "bone," also see osseous).

Latin costa developed a secondary sense in Medieval Latin of "the shore," via notion of the "side" of the land, as well as "side of a hill," and this passed into Romanic (e.g. Italian costa "coast, side," Spanish cuesta "slope," costa "coast"), but only in the Germanic languages that borrowed it is it fully specialized in this sense (e.g. Dutch kust, Swedish kust, German Küste, Danish kyst). French also used this word for "hillside, slope," which led to verb meaning "sled downhill," first attested 1775 in American English. Expression the coast is clear (16c.) is an image of landing on a shore unguarded by enemies.



verblessen, grow or cause to grow less
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.