ri·​par·​i·​an | \ rə-ˈper-ē-ən How to pronounce riparian (audio) , rī-\

Definition of riparian

: relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (such as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater riparian trees

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Did You Know?

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.

Examples of riparian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But here Bidwell starts to feel wilder, as the Maidu and Middle and Upper Trails branch off into the foothills and toward the rock outcropping known as Monkey Face, and other trails dip into the dense riparian growth along Big Chico Creek. Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle, "Best secrets of small-town Chico’s big city park," 16 Mar. 2018 According to the Federal Attorney’s office, the animals became trapped in nets used for riparian fishing on riverbanks. James Rogers, Fox News, "More than 300 vulnerable sea turtles found dead in sea off Mexico," 29 Aug. 2018 Those include minimizing water withdrawals from rivers, increasing shade though riparian vegetation, enhancing habitat diversity, and building on the number of deep pools that tap into cold groundwater. Rocky Barker, idahostatesman, "Northwest rivers are warming. And that may threaten your favorite fishing spot | Idaho Statesman," 7 May 2018 These modifications allowed the agency to relax restrictions on a variety of issues, ranging from riparian damage to the clearing of old-growth trees to the impact of the pipeline on the AT. J. Weston Phippen, Outside Online, "The AT Pipeline Protesters Come Down from the Trees," 5 June 2018 The 835-acre property includes alpine meadows, wetlands and riparian areas (ecologically rich riverside habitats) along two miles of streams and a small pond. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Rare mammals, hiking and more: Forest Service adds 835 acres to Eldorado National Forest," 9 July 2018 The little waterway is a beautiful riparian corridor often overlooked by visitors. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Kid-friendly hikes around Arizona: Hit the trail with your family this summer," 28 June 2018 Nearly 600 acres of rolling hills, sprawling grasslands, and riparian woodland are prime territory for spotting raptors, buntings, woodpeckers, and other birds. Shawnté Salabert, Los Angeles Magazine, "From Archery to Mountain Biking, There’s an L.A. Park for Every Outdoor Hobby," 7 June 2018 Today, Noci’s open, riparian land is starting to take form. Nathan Hurst, San Francisco Chronicle, "How local farms are evolving beyond CSA," 19 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of riparian

1810, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for riparian

Latin riparius — more at river

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Dictionary Entries near riparian


rip a hole

rip apart


riparian right


rip cord

Statistics for riparian

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

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The first known use of riparian was in 1810

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ri·​par·​i·​an | \ rə-ˈper-ē-ən How to pronounce riparian (audio) \

Legal Definition of riparian

: of or relating to or living or located on the bank of a watercourse (as a river or stream) or sometimes a lake broadly : of or relating to or living or located on the bank of a body of water — compare littoral

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to boil down or concentrate

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