Definition of rib in English:



  • 1Each of a series of slender curved bones articulated in pairs to the spine (twelve pairs in humans), protecting the thoracic cavity and its organs.

    • ‘There was evidence of osteomyelitis of the left fibula, healed rib fractures and healed jaw lesions.’
    • ‘The thoracic ribs are long and relatively uncurved distally, suggesting a deep body.’
    • ‘To cap his year, Partridge fractured a rib in a surfing accident just as he was returning to training.’
    • ‘The singer should breathe silently and deeply, experiencing expansion around the lower ribs.’
    • ‘He could even feel a few broken ribs through her ripped and tattered clothing.’
    • ‘Livingston not only fell off during her steer riding event but fractured a rib when the animal stepped on her.’
    • ‘Cindy blinked at this and nudged her gently in her ribs with her elbow.’
    • ‘As it was, he survived with a broken jaw, ribs and collar bone.’
    • ‘They eased the car away from the wall and released Mrs Rollinson, who suffered a collapsed lung, a broken collar bone, broken ribs and a deep gash in her leg.’
    • ‘C Einar Diaz is playing with a cracked rib on his left side.’
    • ‘The team also discovered parts of a thigh bone, ribs, vertebrae, a collarbone, pelvis and shoulder blade.’
    • ‘His arms are thrust backwards, and one can see his ribs protruding from his front.’
    • ‘Miss Gomersall, whose injuries included a broken jaw and a fractured collar bone, ribs and pelvis, could not remember anything about the crash.’
    • ‘While rehabilitating the rib cage injury, he suffered a strained right hamstring.’
    • ‘He had walked into a clearing, where the remains of a circle of scorched tents stuck out like the ribs of an animal long dead.’
    • ‘Rudy cried out in anguish as he stood and touched his sore ribs.’
    • ‘She slowly stood, rubbing her bruised ribs and glaring at the man.’
    • ‘In rare cases the first thoracic rib may be rudimentary and similar in appearance to cervical ribs.’
    • ‘She suffered three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand.’
    • ‘A fracture of the left lower ribs may damage the spleen.’
    1. 1.1A rib of an animal with meat adhering to it used as food; a joint or cut from the ribs of an animal.
      • ‘Chewing pork ribs with meat that falls off the bone, glazed in a finger-licking sticky sauce, is one of the pleasures I enjoy on holiday.’
      • ‘Discard the vegetables and bones, or if you're using beef ribs, remove the meat before discarding the bones.’
      • ‘Another dish available but not tried includes grilled tuna with ginger soy sauce and wasabi and boneless beef ribs, both of which are said to be popular orders.’
      • ‘I am keen on the idea of a wing rib of beef, after all it is the traditional Christmas day dish.’
      • ‘Besides tasting great with chips, it's perfect alongside barbecued burgers, ribs, or other meats.’
      • ‘Anderson grew up in Chicago where his appreciation for ribs came from the food served by street corner vendors.’
      • ‘Main courses include beef kebabs, roasted chicken, prime rib of beef and a surf and turf platter.’
      • ‘I have every confidence that the Billingsgate fish pie, rib of beef forestière and lobster in bisque would have been equally competently done.’
      • ‘Place the beef ribs, onion, celery and bay leaves in a large pot.’
      • ‘For the barbecue, stock up on steaks, chops, spicy merguez sausages and ribs.’
      • ‘Stick with lean cuts like sirloin or flank steak, and avoid ribs and ground beef.’
      • ‘Faced with kilograms of leftover, beautifully cooked rare beef, the very heart of the rib, I kept dreaming of the meals I was about to have from it.’
      • ‘In all cases, however, meat from the area where the ribs join the backbone, between the shoulders and the hip of the animal, is most important.’
      • ‘Of the 70 percent of sales that represent food, Karzas says easily 65 percent is barbecued ribs.’
      • ‘The meat on the ribs was tender, the sauce was brown and sticky, but they would've been infinitely more satisfying served hot.’
      • ‘When looking for tender cuts of meat, choose meat labeled loin or rib.’
      • ‘The elusive jumbo prawns, barbecued chicken and pork spare ribs are monsoon specials.’
      • ‘Despite a few culinary missteps, this Ridge Avenue barbecue joint knows its ribs.’
      • ‘By night, two-step under the stars and fill up on BBQ ribs.’
      • ‘Here is a barbecued prime rib that's perfect for a small family.’
  • 2A long raised piece of stronger or thicker material across a surface or through a structure, and typically serving to support or strengthen it, in particular.

    • ‘Structurally we need a solid rib or two to attach the aerodynamic controls to the leading edge.’
    • ‘Green hardwood battens were then attached to the ribs, forming fixing points for the narrow steel shingles.’
    • ‘The roof was made from exterior oak trusses covered in lead while the original ceiling was of medieval construction with oak ribs and bosses and panels between of thin oak boarding.’
    • ‘All of the ribs and other components known as Knees were cut from the curved parts of the trees where a branch met the trunk.’
    • ‘The oil pan, exhaust manifolds and transmission housing have been reinforced with ribs for added strength.’
    • ‘At this point, the ribs were permanently reinstalled and stringers were cut.’
    • ‘With the clamps in place, you'll see where the ribs must be attached.’
    • ‘This boat then had 11 ribs added to strengthen the hull.’
    • ‘The rib was then raised into position, and pulled sideways to connect to the dovetails on the cross supports.’
    1. 2.1Architecture A curved member supporting a vault or defining its form.
      • ‘The sloped skylight is supported by laminated-glass structural ribs and is strong enough to support the weight of cleaning crews.’
      • ‘Aalto's trademark ribs of cobalt blue tiles impart a lively rhythm to the angled wall that faces the bank of elevators.’
      • ‘By reducing the complexity of traditional intersecting rib vaults, he proposed a pure barrel form, cantilevered above a glazed screen.’
      • ‘This abbreviated variation of the looping rib vault was also an innovation of Benedikt Ried in Bohemia and his followers in Germany.’
      • ‘The Cafe is formed by eight curved structural ribs which enclose the seating and servery space.’
    2. 2.2Any of the curved transverse pieces of metal or timber in a ship, extending up from the keel and forming part of the framework of the hull.
      • ‘He refers to the presence of a keel and ribs made of light timbers, which indicates he was referring to curraghs.’
      • ‘Its bow used to be reasonably intact but, over the past couple of years, the plates have started to fall away from the ribs of the hull.’
      • ‘The banding followed the curve of the ship's ribs, requiring the banding plane to have a matching curvature.’
      • ‘More than 300 planks have been fitted and now the ribs or timbers will be restored or replaced.’
      • ‘The Bard made her way toward him, stepping over some of the varnished mahogany ribs of the great ship.’
      • ‘They were completely blown apart, and all-new spar extrusions and new ribs were built by Ken Hake in Kansas and shipped to New Zealand.’
      • ‘At different parts of the hull, the Wright would use different methods of holding the ribs of the ship in place.’
      • ‘The transverse ribs and the deck are similar to those in the back spans.’
      • ‘Fortunately, the wreck has not twisted significantly, so the exposed metal ribs can be used as a navigation aid.’
      • ‘The fragments include slabs of planking, ribs, stem posts, a keel, even part of a rudder, as well as used and unused vessel fastenings.’
      • ‘Although these canoes are covered with birchbark, this skin, like that of a kayak, is stretched over a framework of ribs and spars.’
      • ‘The deck here used to be intact but now it has peeled off and fallen to the seabed, leaving a tangle of debris from below the deck and exposed ribs poking up from the hull.’
      • ‘Indeed, the structure of the world was sometimes compared to that of building a ship, where the keel and ribs would be laid out first.’
      • ‘The prototype had a waterproof canvas stretched over hinged timber ribs, quality-tested by letting armies of ants and termites loose on the fabric.’
      • ‘Shrouded by fog and littered with the ribs of ships and whales, this is a place of legends rather than of train rides - there being neither tracks nor roads into it.’
      • ‘On the port side, fish swim in and out where hull plating has decayed, leaving ragged holes blocked to any but the skinniest of divers by upright hull ribs.’
      • ‘Unlike the other sections, the stern was much battered, showing steel ribs extending up from the keel to around a metre in height.’
      • ‘Here the deck ribs have caved in towards the centre of the ship above the engines, though the debris is too dense to allow you to see the engines from here.’
      • ‘It was still under construction, just a keel and ribs surrounded by scaffold, ropes and tackle, stacks of lumber and racks of tools.’
      • ‘The deck here has fallen slightly into the holds, with ribs from the starboard side of the hull left behind and sticking up slightly.’
    3. 2.3Each of the curved pieces of wood forming the body of a lute or the sides of a violin.
    4. 2.4Each of the hinged rods supporting the fabric of an umbrella.
      • ‘The umbrella itself has tiny holes and is pulled slightly off one rib.’
      • ‘If the nails are not steel, we ask the children to try to get a piece of old bicycle spoke or an umbrella rib, and bend it backwards and forwards until they have broken a piece off.’
    5. 2.5Aviation A structural member in an airfoil, extending back from the leading edge and serving to define the contour of the airfoil.
      • ‘The 7075 tubing allows us to shave a few pounds off the wing and the carbon ribs reduce the weight by almost another 2 pounds.’
      • ‘There, full-depth tank-end wing ribs formed the ends of the four-tank fuel system.’
    6. 2.6A vein of a leaf (especially the midrib) or an insect's wing.
      • ‘That is, leaf tissues yellow while the leaf ribs remain green.’
      • ‘Leaf rib anthocyanin was measured only in FR, where one QTL was detected.’
      • ‘Brown bands appear on either side of leaf ribs, sometimes forming brown or green rings.’
      • ‘It also means that the flesh has been in contact with the ribs and seeds longer, so reds will be hotter as well as sweeter than their green former selves.’
      • ‘Mitotic indices were determined by recording mitotic figures (except prophases) separately in the central and peripheral zones as well as in the rib meristem of the SAM.’
      • ‘The blanched stalks or ribs of the inner leaves are favoured in Spain for the Madrid version of the nationally renowned cocido and are used in other dishes too.’
      • ‘Smaller leaves and smooth varieties have thin ribs that can be chopped, cooked, and eaten with the leaves.’
      • ‘A number of early Islamic-inscribed ribs of palm leaves have recently been found in Yemen that corroborate this story.’
      • ‘Here is a central rib of the leaf blade with mesophyll composed of undifferentiated cells.’
      • ‘Whole leaves, leaf ribs, leaves without ribs, and petioles were separately analysed.’
      • ‘They first strip the thin cuticle layer from the middle rib of a young palm leaf, then soak the fibers for pliability.’
      • ‘To start new plants, remove a leaf at the plant's base and cut down each side of the center rib, as shown in illustration at right.’
      • ‘While Abas moved his fingers holding a palm leaf rib as a pointer to the verses of the Koran, the sound of the verses being recited was actually coming from a tape recorder.’
      • ‘This shows a longitudinal section of shoot apex and an orthostichy of leaf primordia that are forming a rib.’
      • ‘Other cells of the rib did not show these changes.’
      • ‘Leaves are mild-tasting and can be used for cole slaw or added to salads - the crunchy rib of the leaf adds an interesting texture to a tossed salad.’
      • ‘A fully developed leaf, 16 cm in length, was divided into two equal halves by cutting away the central rib.’
      • ‘The main colour of the petals is violet, with distal parts being pale violet or white, and with dark violet ribs forming nectar guides.’
      • ‘Every node bears a whorl of leaves but the number of leaves in a whorl is smaller than the number of ribs on the axis.’
    7. 2.7A ridge of rock or land.
      • ‘The floor is crisscrossed by ribs of rock that lie just under the flowing stream.’
      • ‘To the immediate right, there is a short climb up a rock rib, at the top of which is an obscured boulder crawl leading on and up.’
      • ‘She followed the rib of rock to the left where the ground continued to be fairly level.’
      • ‘It led to a snow-filled gully, then a rib of loose rock.’
      • ‘Gilkey was anchored securely to his position in the gully with two ice axes while the others moved to the other side of a rocky rib to set up a tent.’
      • ‘Drop-off is to our left, but the road is wide by trail standards, and I place my front right tire on the good side of a bed-rock rib protruding from the roadbed.’
      • ‘Traverse for a variation, ski the side of a rib or drop over a roll, pick up speed, carve a big arc.’
      • ‘After an hour of intense driving, watching for every rib and spur of rock, we'd covered 8 ½ miles.’
    8. 2.8Knitting A combination of alternate knit (plain) and purl stitches producing a ridged, slightly elastic fabric, used especially for the cuffs and bottom edges of sweaters.
      • ‘Canton Crepe is a soft crepe woven fabric with small crosswise ribs.’
      • ‘A very forgiving rib, easy to memorise and fast to knit.’
      • ‘I particularly liked this pattern, which was easy to memorise and a tad more interesting than a rib or stocking stitch.’
      • ‘I'm not sure that I want to do this (1x1 rib is tortuous) so I'll most likely do the standard 1x1 rib and cast off in 1x1 rib.’
      • ‘Mark a centerline across the top of each rib and lay out four evenly spaced hole locations. 5.’


  • 1Mark with or form into raised bands or ridges.

    ‘the road ahead was ribbed with furrows of slush’
    • ‘Polycarbonate is lightweight and ribbed to provide a diffused, UV protecting light which enhances plant growth and helps aid in temperature control.’
    • ‘In the daytime there had been the basking ridge where great ribbed wings of iridescent green or gray or black, dull red or brown or yellow, stretched to channel the sun to the dragon's quickening savoring bodies.’
    • ‘Nor did it prohibit the commercial sale of other items used for sexual gratification, such as ribbed condoms or vibrators that were primarily intended to relieve muscle tension but could also be adapted for sexual purposes.’
    • ‘You can now choose from vertical tubes, sometimes with sinuous curves, thin wall-hugging panels or wacky shapes, many of which make a strong, sculptural statement, replacing the mundane beige ribbed slabs you dislike so much.’
    • ‘Suddenly the wooded hillsides are ribbed with vines and the cobbled quays of Jarnac and Cognac crowded with the merchant warehouses of great cognac-makers like Courvoisier, Hine, Martell and Otard.’
    • ‘So far, so predictable, but its huge flanks are encased in a delicately ribbed translucent skin that scintillates arrestingly with both natural and artificial light.’
    • ‘The stained concrete was ribbed, ridged and textured to a rather extreme extent.’
    • ‘The nicely ribbed barrel of the Nova is finished in a dull black color that matches the black polymer of the stocks and receiver perfectly, although, as an option, the Nova can be purchased in Realtree X-Tra Brown camo dress.’
    grooved, channelled, furrowed, ribbed, corrugated, ridged
    View synonyms
  • 2informal Tease good-naturedly.

    ‘the first time I appeared in the outfit I was ribbed mercilessly’
    • ‘Next he ribbed the doctors, whom he likes to call ‘docs.’’
    • ‘In fact, only once does he cut away to Dee Dee's quiet home life, where the recovering addict ribs his kitty about having to kick catnip cold turkey.’
    • ‘‘Sixth and last,’ said Joe in the pub when he was ribbed about it.’
    • ‘Earlier in the night, I had been ribbing her, saying that she didn't have the class to bend us, but she came back and made me eat my words!’
    • ‘Yet I would stress that the first player who goes public with their homosexuality will face few problems from team-mates - over and above being mercilessly ribbed.’
    • ‘The smallest combat engineer in the security platoon, Bourgeois, 19, was constantly ribbed about being tiny.’
    • ‘Billy in particular is a near-perfect example of Angel at its best, constantly presenting all the characters involved with difficult moral choices and at the same time mercilessly ribbing them for acting as they do.’
    • ‘First, when Hatch referred to the ABA approval as the ‘gold standard,’ he was directly quoting Chuck Schumer and ribbing him.’
    • ‘Whether at Buckingham palace or a tea party, Doyle was frequently ribbed about him.’
    • ‘The other guys start ribbing him, not about his politics but about his age, asking if he voted for Lincoln, saying that his first military service was as a guard on Noah's Ark.’
    • ‘David who has now retired from the service after 27 years was ribbed mercilessly by his White Watch colleagues for his studying.’
    • ‘There's so much affection in the way that they cheer each other on, in the loving way they interact with their children, in the way that they rib each other and tease and play and work.’
    • ‘The next time I see him, over here or in Manchester, where he lives, I am going to rib him about kissing all the girls.’
    • ‘And then in the afternoon, the other - one of the other jurors was ribbing him a bit.’
    • ‘I have to imagine that knowing that the cast of ‘The West Wing’ happened to all have a pretty good sense of humor, that they must have been ribbing you a little bit along the way while you were making this movie.’
    • ‘And in this macho culture, Thabang Silepe says his classmates rib him for wearing ballet shoes instead of soccer cleats.’
    • ‘They rib us in a good natured way while making it clear that they will not vote and are not taken in by our occasional concern for them.’
    • ‘The jokes they loved the most were the ones where we were ribbing them.’
    • ‘Even Sörenstam, the world's top female golfer, got ribbed a little.’
    • ‘And I'm not making fun of you now, because I always rib you about your health and so forth.’
    make fun of, poke fun at, chaff, make jokes about, rag, mock, laugh at, guy, satirize, be sarcastic about
    View synonyms


Old English rib, ribb (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rib(be) and German Rippe. rib dates from the mid 16th century; the sense tease was originally a US slang usage meaning to fool, dupe (1930s).

Definition of RIB in English:



  • A small open boat with a fiberglass hull and inflatable rubber sides.


Acronym from rigid inflatable boat.