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

  • n. Biology A rib or a riblike part, such as the midrib of a leaf or a thickened anterior vein or margin of an insect's wing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rib.
  • n. A riblike part of a plant or animal, such as a middle rib of a leaf or a thickened vein or the margin of an insect wing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rib of an animal or a human being.
  • n. A rib or vein of a leaf, especially the midrib.
  • n.
  • n. The anterior rib in the wing of an insect.
  • n. One of the riblike longitudinal ridges on the exterior of many corals.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy: [L.] A rib.
  • n. A border or side of something: specifically applied to the three borders or costæ of the human scapula or shoulder-blade—the superior or coracoid, the posterior or vertebral, and the anterior or axillary.
  • n. A ridge on something, giving it a ribbed appearance.
  • n. In zoöl.: In entomology: A broad, elevated longitudinal line or ridge on a surface. The anterior border of an insect's wing, extending from the base to the apex or outer angle. Hence— The space on the wing bordering the anterior margin. The costal or anterior vein.
  • n. In conchology, the ridge or one of the ridges of a shell.
  • n. In Actinozoa, an external vertical ridge marking the site of a septum within.
  • n. In Crinoidea, a row of plates succeeding the inferior or basal portion of the cup.
  • n. In botany, a rib or primary vein; a midrib or midnerve of a leaf or frond.
  • n. In Ctenophora, one of the eight meridional rows of swimming-plates.
  • n. In Hydrozoa, one of the protective branches which form the walls of an open basketwork inclosing the gonangia, as in the corbula of Aglaophenia.
  • n. The ridge of the sucker of a tapeworm.

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

  • n. 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)
  • n. a riblike part of a plant or animal (such as a middle rib of a leaf or a thickened vein of an insect wing)


Latin; see kost- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin costa (cognate with coast). (Wiktionary)


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