from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that coasts, as:
  • n. One who acts in an aimless manner.
  • n. A sled or toboggan.
  • n. One who rides a sled or toboggan.
  • n. Nautical A vessel engaged in coastal trade: "dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smokestack” ( John Masefield).
  • n. A roller coaster.
  • n. A small mat or plate placed under a vessel to protect a tabletop or other surface beneath.
  • n. A small tray, often on wheels, for passing something, such as a wine decanter, around a table.
  • n. A resident of a coastal region.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Agent noun of coast: one who coasts.
  • n. Something that coasts, such as a sled or toboggan.
  • n. A merchant vessel that stays in coastal waters.
  • n. A person who originates from or inhabits a coastal area.
  • n. A small piece of material used to protect the surface of a table, upon which one places cups or mugs.
  • n. A small tray on wheels, used to pass something around a table.
  • n. A worthless compact disc or DVD, such as one that was burned incorrectly.
  • n. A rollercoaster.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A vessel employed in sailing along a coast, or engaged in the coasting trade.
  • n. One who sails near the shore.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who or that which coasts.
  • n. A vessel used in this service; a coasting-vessel.
  • n. One engaged in the sport of coasting or sledding.
  • n. A teamster who draws supplies to lumberers' shanties.
  • n. A low round tray, usually of silver, and formerly on wheels, in which a decanter “coasts” or makes the circuit of a dining-table, for the greater convenience of the company.
  • n. An inhabitant of or a dweller near the sea-coast.
  • n. A loafer. See coast, v. i., 9.
  • n. A name applied to cattle bred on or near the coast.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a resident of a coastal area
  • n. someone who coasts
  • n. a covering (plate or mat) that protects the surface of a table (i.e., from the condensation on a cold glass or bottle)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

to coast + -er



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  • The small protective object under a mug or the like gets its name via an earlier meaning (unknown to me but perhaps not obsolete everywhere): a tray for decanters, so that they can 'coast' or go round the table.

    August 26, 2010

  • Almost all the coasters came in sight of Deephaven, and the sea outside the light was their grand highway. Twice from the lighthouse we saw a yacht squadron like a flock of great white birds.

    --Sarah Orne Jewett, 1877, Deephaven

    November 21, 2009

  • Also known as a coastal trading vessel. A ship used for trade between locations on the same island or continent. Its shallow hull allows it to maneuver reefs where seagoing ships usually cannot.

    October 29, 2007