riv·​et | \ ˈri-vət \

Definition of rivet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a headed pin or bolt of metal used for uniting two or more pieces by passing the shank through a hole in each piece and then beating or pressing down the plain end so as to make a second head


riveted; riveting; rivets

Definition of rivet (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to fasten with or as if with rivets
2 : to upset the end or point of (something, such as a metallic pin, rod, or bolt) by beating or pressing so as to form a head
3 : to fasten or fix firmly stood riveted by fright
4 : to attract and hold (something, such as a person's attention) completely

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Other Words from rivet


riveter noun

Synonyms for rivet

Synonyms: Verb

center, concentrate, fasten, focus, train

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Examples of rivet in a Sentence


The iron plates are riveted rather than welded. everyone riveted their eyes on the trick that the magician was performing on stage

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Without room to move, zippers and rivets can snag and stitching can break. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Wash Jeans the Right Way — And Mistakes You Might Be Making," 30 Nov. 2017 This is repeated over 3,000 times and does not count rivet and fastener applications. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Painting a Mars Rover Is Even More Complicated Than You'd Think," 11 Oct. 2018 From zippers and rivets on jackets and jeans to the minerals used in iPhones, China makes or processes many of the ingredients that go into today’s consumer goods. Alexandra Stevenson, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s tariffs may hurt as trade war worsens, but quitting China is hard to do. Why other countries can’t fill the bill.," 24 Sep. 2018 The final design called for 18,000 pieces of puddle iron and an incredible 2.5 million rivets. Lauren Smith, House Beautiful, "12 Things You Didn't Know About the Eiffel Tower," 8 Oct. 2015 As the gun was pulled away, the rivet broke apart and disappeared. Bill Van Niekerken, San Francisco Chronicle, "1930s Golden Gate Bridge construction photos rescued from ruin," 22 May 2018 Each canoe is handcrafted: Resin layers are brushed on, rivets are attached individually around the gunwales. Michael Stilwell, Popular Mechanics, "Made in the USA: One Awesome Thing Built in Each State," 29 June 2017 Last month India raised tariffs on a slew of American imports from chickpeas to rivets in retaliation for the United States hiking duties on steel and aluminum. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "Mike Pompeo was supposed to meet with his Indian counterpart. He went to North Korea instead.," 6 July 2018 Photo: Shiho Fukada for The Wall Street Journal Another signature of the Momotaro jeans: invisible rivets. Suryatapa Bhattacharya, WSJ, "The Hottest Jeans Cost $2,000 and Are Made in Japan," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Know Your Weapons Although Jackson doesn’t dwell on technical specifications, there’s enough coverage of World War I armaments to keep gear enthusiasts riveted. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need To Know Before Watching "They Shall Not Grow Old"," 28 Dec. 2018 Here are some of the races riveting the nation’s attention. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Midterm Elections Are Almost Here—What You Need to Know Now," 5 Nov. 2018 Despite the camper’s small size, the Interstate Nineteen still includes a wet bath with toilet, one-piece shower, sink, mirror, a retractable clothes line, and a cute riveted aluminum porthole door. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Airstream debuts new compact luxury camper van," 4 Sep. 2018 That's so true, that people felt riveted and hopeful and found their aspirational selves in this. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher Open Up About Confronting Jeff Flake in the Elevator," 29 Oct. 2018 Susan Collins, Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh and what comes next Collins reportedly set aside the whole day to watch Thursday's riveting Ford-Kavanaugh hearing. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Susan Collins, one of the most important swing votes on Kavanaugh’s nomination, explained," 29 Sep. 2018 President Trump said that he was riveted by this hearing. Fox News, "Hannity: Democrats have turned SCOTUS process into a sham," 27 Sep. 2018 Moments before, roughly 100 of Dawson’s colleagues had crowed excitedly into the room, their eyes riveted on two large screens carrying live video from mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Paul Roberts, The Seattle Times, "Mars landing is a nail-biter for Redmond rocket engineers," 26 Nov. 2018 Donald Trump’s election has riveted attention on blue-collar voters, whose economic and social woes—and discontent with the status quo—gave Mr. Trump his margin of victory. Morton Kondracke, WSJ, "Closing the ‘Empathy Gap’," 25 July 2017

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rivet


Middle English, clinch on a nail, rivet, from Old French, from river to attach, rivet, probably from rive border, edge, bank, from Latin ripa

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Statistics for rivet

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rivet

The first known use of rivet was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for rivet



English Language Learners Definition of rivet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a special kind of metal bolt or pin that is used to hold pieces of metal together



English Language Learners Definition of rivet (Entry 2 of 2)

: to attract and hold all of someone's attention

: to make (someone) unable to move because of fear, shock, etc.

: to fasten (something) with rivets


riv·​et | \ ˈri-vət \

Kids Definition of rivet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bolt with a head that is passed through two or more pieces and is hammered into place


riveted; riveting

Kids Definition of rivet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fasten with rivets
2 : to attract and hold (as someone's attention) completely We were riveted by the story.
3 : to make (someone) unable to move because of fear or shock

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More from Merriam-Webster on rivet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rivet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rivet

Spanish Central: Translation of rivet

Nglish: Translation of rivet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rivet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rivet

Comments on rivet

What made you want to look up rivet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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