[in-ter-kos-tl, -kaw-stl]


pertaining to muscles, parts, or intervals between the ribs.
situated between the ribs.
Shipbuilding. noting a structural member situated between or divided by continuous members, as frames or keelsons.


an intercostal muscle, member, or space.

Origin of intercostal

From the New Latin word intercostālis, dating back to 1590–1600. See inter-, costal
Related formsin·ter·cos·tal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intercostal

Historical Examples of intercostal

British Dictionary definitions for intercostal



anatomy between the ribsintercostal muscles

Word Origin for intercostal

C16: via New Latin from Latin inter- + costa rib
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 intercostal

"between the ribs," 1590s; see inter- + costal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

intercostal in Medicine




Located or occurring between the ribs.


A space, muscle, or part situated between the ribs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.