1 [rib]
one of a series of curved bones that are articulated with the vertebrae and occur in pairs, 12 in humans, on each side of the vertebrate body, certain pairs being connected with the sternum and forming the thoracic wall.
a cut of meat, as beef, containing a rib.
ribs, spareribs ( def 2 ).
any of several archlike members of a vault supporting it at the groins, defining its distinct surfaces, or dividing these surfaces into panels: including ogives and tiercerons.
any of several molded members or moldings, including ridge ribs and liernes, on the surface of a vault accenting the ridges or dividing the surface into panels.
something resembling a rib in form, position, or use, as a supporting or strengthening part.
a structural member that supports the shape of something: an umbrella rib.
Nautical. any of the curved framing members in a ship's hull that rise upward and outward from the keel; frame.
a stiffening beam cast as part of a concrete slab.
a primary vein of a leaf.
a vertical ridge in cloth, especially in knitted fabrics.
a ridge, as in poplin or rep, caused by heavy yarn.
a wife (in humorous allusion to the creation of Eve. Gen. 2:21–22).
Ceramics. a scraper for smoothing clay being thrown on a potter's wheel.
a metal ridge running along the top of the barrel of a firearm to simplify aligning the sights.
a longitudinal strip of metal joining the barrels of a double-barreled gun.
verb (used with object), ribbed, ribbing.
to furnish or strengthen with ribs.
to enclose as with ribs.
to mark with riblike ridges or markings.

before 900; Middle English, Old English rib(b); cognate with German Rippe

ribber, noun
ribless, adjective
riblike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
rib1 (rɪb)
1.  true rib false ribs Compare floating rib Technical name: costa any of the 24 curved elastic arches of bone that together form the chest wall in man. All are attached behind to the thoracic part of the spinal column
2.  the corresponding bone in other vertebrates
3.  a cut of meat including one or more ribs
4.  a part or element similar in function or appearance to a rib, esp a structural or supporting member or a raised strip or ridge
5.  a structural member in a wing that extends from the leading edge to the trailing edge and maintains the shape of the wing surface
6.  a projecting moulding or band on the underside of a vault or ceiling, which may be structural or ornamental
7.  See also ribbing one of a series of raised rows in knitted fabric
8.  a raised ornamental line on the spine of a book where the stitching runs across it
9.  any of the transverse stiffening timbers or joists forming the frame of a ship's hull
10.  any of the larger veins of a leaf
11.  a metal strip running along the top of the barrel of a shotgun or handgun and guiding the alignment of the sights
12.  a vein of ore in rock
13.  a projecting ridge of a mountain; spur
vb , ribs, ribbing, ribbed
14.  to furnish or support with a rib or ribs
15.  to mark with or form into ribs or ridges
16.  to knit plain and purl stitches alternately in order to make raised rows in (knitting)
17.  archaic to enclose with or as if with ribs
[Old English ribb; related to Old High German rippi, Old Norse rifreef1]

rib2 (rɪb)
vb , ribs, ribbing, ribbed
1.  (tr) to tease or ridicule
2.  a joke or hoax
[C20: short for rib-tickle (vb)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. ribb "rib," from P.Gmc. *rebja (cf. O.N. rif, O.Fris. ribb, O.H.G. ribba, Ger. Rippe), lit. "a covering" (of the chest), from PIE *rebh- "to roof, cover" (cf. O.C.S. rebro "rib"). The verb meaning "tease, fool" is first attested 1930, perhaps as a figurative extension of poking someone in the ribs.
Rib joint "brothel" is slang from 1943, probably in allusion to Adam's rib (cf. rib "woman, wife," attested from 1589).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

rib (rĭb)
One of a series of long curved bones occurring in 12 pairs in humans and extending from the spine to or toward the sternum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
rib   (rĭb)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Any of a series of long, curved bones extending from the spine and enclosing the chest cavity. In mammals, reptiles, and birds, the ribs curve toward the center of the chest and in most cases attach to the sternum (breastbone). There are 12 pairs of ribs in humans. See more at skeleton.

  2. One of the main veins of a leaf.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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