\ ˈrīv How to pronounce rive (audio) \
rived\ ˈrīvd How to pronounce rived (audio) \; riven\ ˈri-​vən How to pronounce riven (audio) \ also rived; riving\ ˈrī-​viŋ How to pronounce riving (audio) \; rives

Definition of rive

transitive verb

1a : to wrench open or tear apart or to pieces : rend
b : to split with force or violence
2a : to divide into pieces or fractions an organization being riven by controversy
b : fracture

intransitive verb

: to become split : crack

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Choose the Right Synonym for rive

tear, rip, rend, split, cleave, rive mean to separate forcibly. tear implies pulling apart by force and leaving jagged edges. tear up the letter rip implies a pulling apart in one rapid uninterrupted motion often along a line or joint. ripped the shirt on a nail rend implies very violent or ruthless severing or sundering. an angry mob rent the prisoner's clothes split implies a cutting or breaking apart in a continuous, straight, and usually lengthwise direction or in the direction of grain or layers. split logs for firewood cleave implies very forceful splitting or cutting with a blow. a bolt of lightning cleaved the giant oak rive occurs most often in figurative use. a political party riven by conflict

Examples of rive in a Sentence

road pavement that had been riven by the annual freeze-and-thaw cycle the bitter disappointment threatened to rive my heart in two

Recent Examples on the Web

Washington’s clubby diplomatic and lobbying worlds have been rived by the Khashoggi case. David D. Kirkpatrick, The Seattle Times, "Interrogation gone wrong, rogue killers: What happened to Saudi journalist?," 16 Oct. 2018 Yet tension was unavoidable in a deeply traditional society riven by caste and religion. Annie Gowen, Washington Post, "A Muslim and a Hindu thought they could be a couple. Then came the ‘love jihad’ hit list.," 26 Apr. 2018 Ever since Catalan separatists declared independence in 2017, the issue of separatist sentiment in the wealthy region has riven Spanish society and politics. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "The Latest Chapter in Europe’s Electoral Challenges: Spain," 15 Feb. 2019 Iraqi officials have tried to use the defeat of Islamic State as a moment of national unity for a country riven by sectarian differences. Isabel Coles, WSJ, "Iraq Marks Anniversary of ISIS Defeat Amid Public Discontent," 10 Dec. 2018 Bosnia was riven by war in the 1990s as the former Yugoslavia broke apart. Lorne Cook, The Seattle Times, "NATO gives Bosnia green light to advance on membership path," 5 Dec. 2018 Democrats largely elided the divisions that had riven them leading up to Mrs. Pelosi’s election. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker as House Votes for End to Shutdown," 3 Jan. 2019 In a country as riven with economic inequality as this one, that can only be a good thing. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "What the "Working Class" Is, and How It's Politicized," 13 Dec. 2018 With the states riven by conflict, his banking rivals predicted that investors would subscribe to the bonds only at a substantial discount. Gregory Crouch, WSJ, "‘Civil War Barons’ Review: Entrepreneurs for the Union," 5 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rive.' 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 rive

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for rive

Middle English, from Old Norse rīfa; akin to Greek ereipein to tear down

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Statistics for rive

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for rive

The first known use of rive was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of rive

formal : to divide or split (something) especially in a forceful or violent way

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More from Merriam-Webster on rive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rive

Britannica English: Translation of rive for Arabic Speakers

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a tendency to relapse

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