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[kos-tuh, kaw-stuh] /ˈkɒs tə, ˈkɔ stə/
noun, plural costae
[kos-tee, kaw-stee] /ˈkɒs ti, ˈkɔ sti/ (Show IPA)
a rib or riblike part.
the midrib of a leaf in mosses.
a ridge.
  1. Also called costal vein. a vein, usually marginal, in the anterior portion of the wing of certain insects.
  2. Also called costal margin. the anterior edge or border of the wing of certain insects.
Origin of costa
1865-70; < Latin: rib, side. See coast
Related forms
pseudocosta, noun, plural pseudocostae.


[kaw-stuh] /ˈkɔ stə/
Lúcio [loo-syoo] /ˈlu syu/ (Show IPA), 1902–98, Brazilian architect, chief designer of Brasilia. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for costa
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And costa, the cabin boy, only fifteen years of age when this crime was committed--shall he die?

    The Pirates Own Book Charles Ellms
  • This form of Marimba is also met with amongst the natives of costa Rica.

  • Similar ecological relationships were observed for several species of costa Rican hylids.

  • He finally got permission from costa Rica to establish his experimental station.

    Secret Armies John L. Spivak
  • "They crate things well these days," costa said unworriedly, sucking on a bottle of the famous Himmelian beer.

    The K-Factor Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
British Dictionary definitions for costa


noun (pl) -tae (-tiː)
the technical name for rib1 (sense 1)
a riblike part, such as the midrib of a plant leaf
Derived Forms
costal, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: rib, side, wall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for costa

Spanish costa "coast," from same Latin source as English coast (n.). Used in Britain from 1960s in jocular formations (costa geriatrica, costa del crime, etc.) in imitation of the names of Spanish tourist destinations.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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costa in Medicine

costa cos·ta (kŏs'tə)
n. pl. cos·tae (-tē)

  1. Rib.

  2. A rodlike internal supporting organelle that runs along the base of the undulating membrane of certain flagellate parasites. Also called basal rod.

cos'tal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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costa in Science
Plural costae (kŏs'tē)
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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