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? asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

What is the difference between "coastline" and "coast" in meaning exactly?

Thank you.

2 Answers

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  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    The coast is the edge of the land where it meets the sea.  A coastline is a length of coast.  While essentially similar, there is a nuance in the words - one is more of a point (that can be wide), and the other is a distance.

  • 2 months ago

    The meanings overlap.  But you might say "coastline" when you intend to emphasis its shape on a map.  For example, the coastline of Maine has a lot of zigzags and indentations, while the coastline of California is much smoother.  You might say "coast" when you intend to distinguish the seaside from the interior.  For example, you might say "I live on the coast," meaning that you live quite near the ocean.  It would be customary to say "Marseille is on the south coast of France."  It would not be customary to say "Marseille is on the south coastline of France," but it wouldn't actually be WRONG.  A more typical use of "coastline" would be "The ship sailed east, always following the coastline," but it wouldn't actually be wrong to say "The ship sailed east, always following the coast."

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