AskDefine | Define rib

Dictionary Definition



1 support resembling the rib of an animal
2 any of the 12 pairs of curved arches of bone extending from the spine to or toward the sternum in humans (and similar bones in most vertebrates) [syn: costa]
3 cut of meat including one or more ribs
4 a teasing remark
5 a riblike supporting or strengthening part of an animal or plant
6 a projecting molding on the underside of a vault or ceiling; may be ornamental or structural


1 form vertical ribs by knitting; "A ribbed sweater"
2 subject to laughter or ridicule; "The satirists ridiculed the plans for a new opera house"; "The students poked fun at the inexperienced teacher"; "His former students roasted the professor at his 60th birthday" [syn: ridicule, roast, guy, blackguard, laugh at, jest at, make fun, poke fun] [also: ribbing, ribbed]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Any of a series of long curved bones occurring in 12 pairs in humans and other animals and extending from the spine to or toward the sternum
  2. A part or piece, similar to a rib, and serving to shape or support something
  3. A cut of meat enclosing one or more rib bones
  4. Any of several curved members attached to a ship's keel and extending upward and outward to form the framework of the hull
  5. Any of several transverse pieces that provide an aircraft wing with shape and strength
  6. A long, narrow, usually arched member projecting from the surface of a structure, especially such a member separating the webs of a vault
  7. A raised ridge in knitted material or in cloth
  8. The main, or any of the prominent veins of a leaf
  9. A teasing joke
  10. A single strand of hair.


curved bones
shaping or supporting member similar to rib
cut of meat
part of a ship’s framework
shaping and supporting member in an aircraft wing
architecture: member projecting from the surface
ridge in knitted material
prominent vein in a leaf
teasing joke


  1. To shape, support, or provide something with a rib or ribs
  2. To tease or make fun of someone


to equip with ribs
to tease

Extensive Definition

This article is about the bones called ribs. For other meanings, see rib (disambiguation).
In vertebrate anatomy, ribs (Latin costae) are the long curved bones which form the ribcage. In most animals, ribs surround the chest (Latin thorax) and protect the lungs, heart, and other internal organs of the thorax. In some animals, especially snakes, ribs may provide support and protection for the entire body.

Human anatomy

Human beings have 24 ribs (12 pairs). The first seven sets of ribs have their own individual cartilage connections with the sternum. The following three sets are known as "false ribs", these share a common cartilaginous connection to the sternum, while the last two (eleventh and twelfth ribs) are termed floating ribs (costae fluitantes) or vertebral ribs. They are attached to the vertebrae only, and not to the sternum or cartilage coming off of the sternum. Some people are missing one of the two pairs of floating ribs, while others have a third pair. Rib removal is the surgical excision of ribs for therapeutic or cosmetic reasons.
The ribcage is separated from the lower abdomen by the thoracic diaphragm which controls breathing. When the diaphragm contracts, the ribcage and thoracic cavity are expanded, reducing intra-thoracic pressure and drawing air into the lungs.

In other animals

In mammals, one generally thinks of ribs occurring only in the chest. However, during the development of mammalian embryos, fused-on remnants of ribs can be traced in neck vertebrae (cervical ribs) and sacral vertebrae.
In reptiles, ribs sometimes occur in all vertebrae from the neck to the sacrum.
The ribs of turtles are developed into a bony or cartilagenous carapace and plastron.
Fish can have up to four ribs on each vertebra and this can easily be seen in the herring, although not all fish have this many.

Additional images

Human ribs
Image:Gray122.png Image:Gray123.png Image:Gray124.png Image:Gray125.png Image:Gray126.png Image:Gray127.png Image:Gray128.png


  • Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 4th ed. Keith L. Moore and Robert F. Dalley. pp. 62-64
rib in Breton: Kostezenn
rib in Bulgarian: Ребро
rib in Catalan: Costella
rib in Czech: Žebro
rib in Danish: Ribben
rib in German: Rippe
rib in Spanish: Costilla
rib in Esperanto: Ripo
rib in French: Côte (anatomie)
rib in Scottish Gaelic: Aisean
rib in Croatian: Rebra
rib in Indonesian: Tulang rusuk
rib in Italian: Costola
rib in Hebrew: צלעות
rib in Latin: Costa (anatomia)
rib in Latvian: Ribas
rib in Lithuanian: Šonkaulis
rib in Malay (macrolanguage): Tulang rusuk
rib in Dutch: Rib (anatomie)
rib in Japanese: 肋骨
rib in Norwegian: Ribben
rib in Polish: Żebra (anatomia)
rib in Portuguese: Costela
rib in Russian: Ребро
rib in Slovak: Rebro
rib in Slovenian: Rebro
rib in Finnish: Kylkiluu
rib in Swedish: Revben
rib in Tamil: விலா எலும்பு
rib in Thai: กระดูกซี่โครง
rib in Turkish: Kaburga
rib in Ukrainian: Ребра
rib in Vlaams: Rebbe
rib in Chinese: 肋骨

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Chateaubriand, banter, better half, bilge, blade roast, blain, bleb, blister, blob, boss, bow, breast, brisket, bubble, bulb, bulge, bulla, bump, bunch, burl, button, cahot, chaff, chine, chuck, chuck roast, clod, clump, cold cuts, common-law wife, concubine, condyle, convex, dowel, ear, feme, feme covert, filet mignon, flange, flank, flap, fool, fun, gall, gnarl, goodwife, goody, handle, haze, helpmate, helpmeet, hill, hump, hunch, jape, jest, jive, jog, joggle, joke, jolly, josh, kid, knob, knot, knuckle, knur, knurl, lady, lip, loin, loop, lump, married woman, matron, mole, mountain, needle, nevus, nub, nubbin, nubble, old lady, old woman, papilloma, peg, plate, plate piece, pot roast, put on, rack, rag, rally, razz, rib roast, ribs, ride, ridge, ring, roast, rolled roast, round, rump, rump roast, saddle, shank, short ribs, shoulder, shoulder clod, sirloin, spine, squaw, stud, style, tab, tease, tenderloin, tubercle, tubercule, twit, verruca, vesicle, wale, wart, wedded wife, welt, wife, woman
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