[kos-tuh, kaw-stuh]

noun, plural cos·tae [kos-tee, kaw-stee] /ˈkɒs ti, ˈkɔ sti/.

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 formspseu·do·cos·ta, noun, plural pseu·do·cos·tae.




Lú·cio [loo-syoo] /ˈlu syu/, 1902–98, Brazilian architect, chief designer of Brasilia. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for costa

Contemporary Examples of costa

Historical Examples of costa

  • Costa, who was present, answered in Spanish that he wrote it.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • Consequently when he disappeared from Costa Rica there was a hue and cry.

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

    Secret Armies

    John L. Spivak

  • Only as he eased the door did he understand why Costa had been so positive about this.

    The K-Factor

    Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)

  • "And Himmel has a positive one that stays positive," Costa said.

    The K-Factor

    Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)

British Dictionary definitions for costa


noun plural -tae (-tiː)

the technical name for rib 1 (def. 1)
a riblike part, such as the midrib of a plant leaf
Derived Formscostal, adjective

Word Origin for costa

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

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

Medicine definitions for costa



n. pl. cos•tae (-tē)

A rodlike internal supporting organelle that runs along the base of the undulating membrane of certain flagellate parasites.basal rod
Related formscostal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for costa



Plural costae (kŏs)

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.