rib

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: 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

Illustration of rib

Illustration of rib
  • ribs 1a

rib

2 of 4

verb (1)

ribbed; ribbing

transitive verb

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

rib

3 of 4

noun (2)

1
: joke
2
: parody

rib

4 of 4

verb (2)

ribbed; ribbing

transitive verb

: to poke fun at : kid

Examples of rib in a Sentence

Noun (2) the movie is a rib of the "dramatic love story" that was so popular in the 1950s began to lose his sense of humor after being the butt of his friends' ribs once too often Verb (2) ribbed him a bit about fumbling such an easy play
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The rib bone came from a layer of sediment from which the team had previously extracted Denisovan DNA, and Zhang said the researchers are trying to recover DNA from the new specimen. Katie Hunt, CNN, 3 July 2024 Margies—the hotel’s airy, sea-foam blue eatery—serves raw bar platters, handmade pastas, and excellent large format steaks and prime rib night on Tuesdays. Kate Donnelly, Condé Nast Traveler, 2 July 2024 As your diaphragm and rib muscles contract, your lungs fill with air. Jenny Sweigard, Verywell Health, 1 July 2024 Most rib fractures are also caused by blunt-force trauma to the chest, according to the National Library of Medicine. Ilana Arougheti, Kansas City Star, 29 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for rib 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rib

Cite this Entry

“Rib.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rib. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

rib

1 of 3 noun
1
a
: one of the series of curved bones of the chest of most vertebrates that are joined to the spinal column in pairs and help to support the body wall and protect the organs inside
b
: a cut of meat including a rib
2
: something (as a piece of wire supporting the fabric of an umbrella) resembling a rib
3
a
: a major vein of an insect's wing or of a leaf
b
: one of the parallel ridges in a knitted or woven fabric

rib

2 of 3 verb
ribbed; ribbing
1
: to furnish or enclose with ribs
2
: to form ribs in a fabric in knitting or weaving
ribber noun

rib

3 of 3 verb
ribbed; ribbing
: to make jokes about : kid
ribber noun

Medical Definition

rib

noun
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on rib

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!