\ 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

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 Equally nice, pleasant Belgium is perennially riven between its French-speaking and Dutch-speaking regions. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Yes, the English Language Is Important," 10 Nov. 2019 Beijing has held up Macao, a gambling hub that has not been riven by protests, as an exemplary region. Washington Post, "China’s ominous warning to Hong Kong: Less tolerance, more patriotic education," 1 Nov. 2019 Lam had announced earlier that the government would create a platform for dialogue in a bid to end the protests demanding democracy that have riven Hong Kong all summer with no resolution in sight. San Diego Union-Tribune, "China attacks Pelosi for meeting Hong Kong activists," 19 Sep. 2019 Murphy’s veto caps a year of controversy and debate that has riven New Jersey politics. Nancy Solomon, ProPublica, "State Tax Breaks Rewarded Companies Connected to One Powerful Man. The Governor Just Killed Them — for Now.," 23 Aug. 2019 House Democrats left Washington at the end of June riven by negotiations over a $4.6 billion bill funding humanitarian aid for migrants at the southern border. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "After Rancorous Border Fight, Congress Faces Funding Deadlines," 7 July 2019 Though East Asia is riven by numerous, long-standing territorial disputes, Russia and South Korea rarely come into conflict. Ben Westcott, CNN, "South Korea fires warning shots at Russian military aircraft," 23 July 2019 Since then, the group had been riven by internal conflict and lost many of its communications platforms, as internet companies have moved to shut down its websites and suspend the social media accounts of its members. Joe Sexton, ProPublica, "Las Vegas Man Arrested in Plots Against Jews Was Said to Be Affiliated With Atomwaffen Division," 14 Aug. 2019 English society was in crisis: riven by a brutal crackdown on religious dissent, by the return of political absolutism, and by the growing threat of militant Catholicism. Joseph Loconte, National Review, "The Need for a Revival of Lockean Liberalism," 11 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for rive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rive

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rive.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rives. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for rive


How to pronounce rive (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rive

Britannica English: Translation of rive for Arabic Speakers

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