coast is clear, the

the coast is clear

It is safe to proceed, typically because no one is present or nearby who may interfere. I don't see the security guard, so go ahead—the coast is clear.
See also: clear, coast

coast is clear

There is no visible danger. I'm going to stay hidden here until the coast is clear. You can come out of your hiding place now. The coast is clear.
See also: clear, coast

coast is clear, the

No observers or authorities are present; one can proceed safely. For example, Let's make sure the coast is clear before we set up this surprise party. This expression may have originated among pirates and smugglers who were referring to the absence of coast guards, or with regard to a coastal military invasion, but no citations bear out these theories. By the late 1500s the term was used purely figuratively.
See also: coast

the coast is clear

If the coast is clear, you are able to do something, because nobody is there to see you doing it. `You can come out now,' he called. `The coast is clear. She's gone!' Midge stepped aside, nodding that the coast was clear, and Lettie ran through the lobby and up the main staircase. Note: This expression may refer to smugglers (= people who take things illegally into a country) sending messages that there were no coastguards near and it was safe to land or set sail.
See also: clear, coast

the coast is clear

there is no danger of being observed or caught.
The coast is clear originally meant that there were no enemies guarding a sea coast who would prevent an attempt to land or embark.
See also: clear, coast

the ˌcoast is ˈclear

(informal) there is no one around to see or stop what you are doing: She looked left and right to make sure the coast was clear, then ran as fast as she could down the corridor.
See also: clear, coast

coast is clear, the

The authorities aren’t looking; one can proceed without fear of getting caught. Several writers hold that this term comes from the days of piracy and smuggling, when it declared the absence of coast guards. However, one of the earliest references dates from 1530, appearing in J. Palsgrave’s book about the French language: “The kynge intendeth to go to Calays, but we must first clere the costes.” By the late sixteenth century the term was also being used figuratively. Eric Partridge regarded it as a cliché from the eighteenth century on.
See also: coast
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