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costo-

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a combining form meaning “rib,” used in the formation of compound words: costoclavicular.

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Also especially before a vowel, cost-.

Origin of costo-

<Latin cost(a) rib (see costa) + -o-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE COSTO-

What does costo- mean?

Costo- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “rib.” It is often used in medical terms, especially in anatomy and pathology.

Costo- comes from the Latin costa, meaning “rib, side.” The word costa was borrowed directly into English as a term for a “rib,” among other senses. The Latin costa is also the source of the word coast. Explore more at our entry for coast.

What are variants of costo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, costo- becomes cost-, as in costalgia.

Examples of costo-

One example of a medical term that features the combining form costo- is costotomy, “incision of a rib.”

The first part of the word, costo-, means “rib,” as we know. But what about –tomy? The combining form -tomy means “cutting, incision.” Costotomy literally translates to “rib cutting.”

What are some words that use the combining form costo-?

What are some other forms that costo- may be commonly confused with?

The word cost, meaning “price,” is not related to the combining form costo- meaning “rib.” It comes from a different Latin root related to the word constant. Learn more at our entries for cost and constant.

Break it down!

Sternal is an adjective form of sternum, the breastbone. Costosternal refers to what parts of the body?

How to use costo- in a sentence

Medical definitions for costo-

costo-

pref.

Rib:costovertebral.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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