river

noun, often attributive
riv·​er | \ ˈri-vər How to pronounce river (audio) \

Definition of river

1a : a natural stream of water of usually considerable volume
2a : something resembling a river a river of lava
b rivers plural : large or overwhelming quantities drank rivers of coffee
up the river
: to or in prison was sent up the river

Examples of river in a Sentence

The raft is too small to use on this part of the river. Rivers of mud flowed down the hillside.

Recent Examples on the Web

During four minutes of a ride down a river in a motor skiff, scores of silvery fish—as big and sturdy as lengths of firewood—erupt leaping from the water. Richard Adams Carey, WSJ, "‘Overrun’ Review: Too Many Fish to Fry," 12 May 2019 Flood warnings were issued Friday for the Red River along the Minnesota-North Dakota border, but the river wasn’t expected to swell to levels seen during last month’s severe Midwest flooding, said National Weather Service forecaster Greg Gust. Dave Kolpack, The Seattle Times, "Spring snowstorm buries Midwest, tornadoes possible in South," 12 Apr. 2019 Incorporate things like moss, lichen-covered sticks or river stones to add more visual interest while still keeping the look natural. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "This Super-Easy 'Living Arrangement' Takes Container Gardening to the Next Level," 26 Apr. 2019 In it, Good Charlotte performs along a concrete river bank that runs through Los Angeles. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Makeup Guru Jeffree Star," 9 Apr. 2019 Homes were washed away by rivers that burst their banks, sending waters rushing over a vast stretch of central Mozambique, as high as the tops of trees. Cara Anna, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s not safe anywhere:’ Mozambique cyclone scattered lives," 30 Mar. 2019 Transmission lines are like mighty rivers that feed into urban water distribution systems, where the water/power travels to the end of the line and is consumed. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 Curvy Kili Crew member Diandra Oliver, 36, grew up on rivers and mountains and spent most of her life hiking and snowshoeing in northern British Columbia. Kathleen Rellihan, Glamour, "Who Says Plus-Size Women Can't Climb Kilimanjaro?," 8 Mar. 2019 Experts now know that toxic chemicals from weed and insect killers can seep into the soil, drift in the air, and collect in streams and rivers — to the detriment of plants, animals, and people nearby. Erin Quinn-kong, Woman's Day, "Are Your Fast-Fashion Clothes Killing Farmers?," 14 Feb. 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for river

Middle English rivere, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *riparia, from Latin, feminine of riparius riparian, from ripa bank, shore; perhaps akin to Greek ereipein to tear down

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Dictionary Entries near river

rive

rivel

riven

river

river's mouth

Rivera

riverain

Statistics for river

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for river

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

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More Definitions for river

river

noun

English Language Learners Definition of river

: a large natural flow of water that crosses an area of land and goes into an ocean, a lake, etc.
: a large flow of something

river

noun
riv·​er | \ ˈri-vər How to pronounce river (audio) \

Kids Definition of river

1 : a natural stream of water larger than a brook or creek
2 : a large stream or flow a river of mud

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More from Merriam-Webster on river

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with river

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for river

Spanish Central: Translation of river

Nglish: Translation of river for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of river for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about river

Comments on river

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