Definition of riparian
- riparian trees
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'riparian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Riparian came to English from the same source that gave us "river" - the Latin riparius, a noun deriving from ripa, meaning "bank" or "shore." First appearing in English in the 19th century, "riparian" refers to things that exist alongside a river (such as riparian wetlands, habitats, trees, etc.). Some river communities have laws called "riparian rights," referring to the rights of those owning land along a river to have access to the waterway. Note the distinction of this word from "littoral," which usually refers to things that occur along the shore of a sea or ocean.
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