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Rib, subst. 1) a bone forming part of the frame of the thorax: LLL I, 1, 27 “(dainty bits make rich the --s).” Merch. II, 2, 114. As I, 2, 136. As I, 2, 136 John III, 3, 9 “(the fat --s of peace).” H4A IV, 2, 80 (three fingers on the --s, i. e. very fat). Troil. I, 3, 177. Mcb. I, 3, 136. Oth. I, 2, 5. Falstaff called --s by the prince, i. e. a fat rib-piece: H4A II, 4, 125; cf. the similar names goodman Bones, Chops, Fatguts, Jackanapes, Pots, Thicklips etc.
2) the timber which forms and strengthens the side of a ship: Merch. I, 1, 28. II, 6, 18. Oth. II, 1, 8.
3) Figuratively, that which encloses and protects or sustains a thing: “that is stronger made which was before barred up with --s of iron,” Ado IV, 1, 153. “the flinty --s of this contemptuous city,” John II, 384. “go to the rude --s of that ancient castle,” R2 III, 3, 32. V, 5, 20. “join you with them like a r. of steel,” H4B II, 3, 54. cf. Thick-ribbed.
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