rive

verb \ ˈrīv \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of rive

rived play \ˈrīvd\; riven play \ˈri-vən\ also rived; riving play \ˈrī-viŋ\
transitive verb
1 a :to wrench open or tear apart or to pieces :rend
b :to split with force or violence
2 a :to divide into pieces
  • nations riven by civil war
intransitive verb
:to become split :crack

Examples of rive in a Sentence

  1. road pavement that had been riven by the annual freeze-and-thaw cycle

  2. the bitter disappointment threatened to rive my heart in two

Recent Examples of rive from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of rive

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

RIVE Defined for English Language Learners

rive

verb

Definition of rive for English Language Learners

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



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