noun (1)
\ ˈrib \

Definition of rib

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : any of the paired curved bony or partly cartilaginous rods that stiffen the walls of the body of most vertebrates and protect the viscera
b(1) : a cut of meat including a rib — see beef illustration
(2) : a boneless cut of meat (such as beef or pork) from a rib section
c [ from the account of Eve's creation from Adam's rib in Genesis 2:21–22 ] : wife
2 : something resembling a rib in shape or function: such as
a(1) : a traverse member of the frame of a ship that runs from keel to deck
(2) : a light fore-and-aft member in an airplane's wing
b : one of the stiff strips supporting an umbrella's fabric
c : one of the arches in Romanesque and Gothic vaulting meeting and crossing one another and dividing the whole vaulted space into triangles
3 : an elongated ridge: such as
a(1) : a vein of an insect's wing
(2) : one of the primary veins of a leaf
b : one of the ridges in a knitted or woven fabric


verb (1)
ribbed; ribbing

Definition of rib (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish or enclose with ribs
2 : to knit so as to form vertical ridges in


noun (2)

Definition of rib (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : joke
2 : parody


verb (2)
ribbed; ribbing

Definition of rib (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to poke fun at : kid

Illustration of rib

Illustration of rib

Noun (1)

ribs 1a

In the meaning defined above

Other Words from rib

Verb (1)

ribber noun

Verb (2)

ribber noun

First Known Use of rib

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1912, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rib

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English ribb; akin to Old High German rippi rib, Old Church Slavonic rebro, and probably to Greek erephein to roof over

Verb (2) and Noun (2)

probably from rib entry 1; from the tickling of the ribs to cause laughter

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Time Traveler for rib

The first known use of rib was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for rib


\ ˈrib \

Kids Definition of rib

1 : one of the curved bones of the chest that are joined to the backbone and help to stiffen the body wall and protect the organs
2 : a piece of meat from an animal (as a cow or pig) that includes a rib and is used as food
3 : something (as a piece of wire supporting the fabric of an umbrella) that is like a rib in shape or use
4 : one of the parallel ridges in a knitted or woven fabric

Other Words from rib

ribbed \ ˈribd \ adjective a ribbed sweater


\ ˈrib \

Medical Definition of rib

: any of the paired curved bony or partly cartilaginous rods that stiffen the lateral walls of the body of most vertebrates and protect the viscera, that occur in mammals exclusively or almost exclusively in the thoracic region, and that in humans normally include 12 pairs of which all are articulated with the spinal column at the dorsal end and the first 10 are connected also at the ventral end with the sternum by costal cartilages — see false rib, floating rib, true rib

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More from Merriam-Webster on rib

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rib

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rib

Spanish Central: Translation of rib

Nglish: Translation of rib for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rib for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rib

Comments on rib

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irregularly rounded

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