from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In railroading, the act of allowing a train or a ear to run upon a down grade by its own gravity, without steam or electric power.
  • noun The act or business of sailing along the coast or from port to port in the same country, for purposes of trade.
  • noun The sport of sliding on a sled down an incline covered with snow or ice.
  • noun Advances toward acquaintance; specifically, courtship.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Sailing along or near a coast, or running between ports along a coast.
  • adjective trade carried on by water between neighboring ports of the same country, as distinguished from foreign trade or trade involving long voyages.
  • adjective a vessel employed in coasting; a coaster.
  • noun A sailing along a coast, or from port to port; a carrying on a coasting trade.
  • noun Local, U. S. Sliding down hill; sliding on a sled upon snow or ice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Present participle of coast.
  • noun The act of sailing along a coast, or from port to port.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • The practice of sailboats traveling south along the US Atlantic coast to travel close to the shore to catch the southerly Labrador current and avoid the northerly Gulf Stream current farther offshore.

    "Coasting" has an interesting double sense here--to coast along with a current and to stay close to the coast.

    June 19, 2008