in·​ter·​cos·​tal ˌin-tər-ˈkä-stᵊl How to pronounce intercostal (audio)
: situated or extending between the ribs
intercostal spaces
intercostal muscles
intercostal noun

Examples of intercostal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There wasn’t one moment that suddenly caused Wick to feel better and the intercostal issue to go away. Meghan Montemurro,, 12 Aug. 2021 Women typically have a lung capacity of four liters, which Sammy says can be trained, with specific breathing and intercostal stretching, to hold as much as possible. Women's Health, 31 July 2023 Wick is dealing with an intercostal issue, the same oblique injury that landed him on the injured list in September. Meghan Montemurro,, 22 Feb. 2021 Garver, coming off a 31-homer season, had his 2020 mostly wiped out because of an intercostal strain. Star Tribune, 28 Sep. 2020 So when drawing up his lineup for tonight's game with the White Sox, Baldelli chose to put Garver in the No. 2 spot, the first time he's started there since Aug. 19 of last season — by unfortunate coincidence, the night Garver suffered a strained intercostal muscle and went on the injured list. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, 20 July 2021 Gallo missed Minnesota’s previous 10 games because of a right intercostal strain ... Matt Pepin,, 20 Apr. 2023 For the first time since Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jesse Winker re-aggravated his intercostal injury on Sept. 17, Winker was back on the field at Great American Ball Park for pregame warmups on Friday. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 25 Sep. 2021 There was a marked stridor and retraction of the intercostal spaces. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 19 Mar. 2014

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intercostal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin intercostalis, from Latin inter- + costa rib — more at coast

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of intercostal was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near intercostal

Cite this Entry

“Intercostal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
in·​ter·​cos·​tal ˌint-ər-ˈkäs-tᵊl How to pronounce intercostal (audio)
: situated or extending between the ribs
intercostal vessels
intercostal spaces


2 of 2 noun
: an intercostal part or structure (as a muscle or nerve)
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