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riv·​et ˈri-vət How to pronounce rivet (audio)
: 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


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riveted; riveting; rivets

transitive verb

: to fasten with or as if with rivets
: 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
: to fasten or fix firmly
stood riveted by fright
: to attract and hold (something, such as a person's attention) completely
riveter noun

Examples of rivet in a Sentence

Verb 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
Once the plug was removed for access to the rivets, Spirit AeroSystems employees in Renton completed the repairs. Mark Walker, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2024 This story has been corrected to note that a Spirit AeroSystems crew, not a Boeing crew, repaired the rivets. David Koenig, Quartz, 7 Feb. 2024 Records show that the rivets were replaced, but photos obtained from Boeing Co. by the NTSB show that the door panel was put back without bolts in three visible locations. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Additional rivets on the inside were used to attach the plates to the base material (likely leather), and this in turn was sewn onto a fabric finger glove. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 19 Jan. 2024 Arranged in a circle were 18 slices of aluminum skin attached to one another by two rows of rivets. Andrew Zaleski, Popular Mechanics, 22 June 2023 The request to open the plug came from employees of Spirit AeroSystems, a supplier that makes the body for the 737 Max in Wichita, Kan. After Boeing employees complied, Spirit employees who are based at Boeing’s Renton factory repaired the rivets. Mark Walker, New York Times, 25 Jan. 2024 Working on behalf of the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage, the team excavated part of the mound and found large rivets and pieces of wood that were likely once part of a vessel. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Dec. 2023 The downside is that the handles' rivets are not flush inside the pot. Sarah Wharton, Good Housekeeping, 16 Aug. 2023
The show riveted audiences both for its performances by Cherry Jones, Brían F. O’Byrne, Heather Goldenhersh, and Adriane Lenox and for Shanley’s refusal to definitively answer the question of whether Father Flynn had abused that child. Jim McDermott, Vulture, 2 Feb. 2024 Students on school trips to a Holocaust museum outside Detroit would stand riveted at one stark display: a Nazi officer’s black uniform with a red swastika armband, guns and a whip. Ralph Blumenthal, New York Times, 26 Jan. 2024 As delicious as Eugénie’s concoctions look, the film’s attention remains riveted on these two people in the kitchen together, pursuing a dream. Tim Grierson, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024 While most women joined the war effort by planting victory gardens or riveting in factories, her mom — proud that one of her ancestors had been part of the colonial Marine force — was determined to become a Marine. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 11 Dec. 2023 The silent color film riveted the Warren Commission, the investigative body appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to get to the bottom of the assassination. Brayden Garcia, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 26 Jan. 2024 After returning to Britain, Ms. Arrowsmith became riveted by stories about an anti-nuclear activist who planned to sail into the Pacific to try to stop Britain’s first nuclear weapon test in 1957. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2023 While we were riveted by all of those stories and more, only some made our list of the biggest science events and discoveries this year. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Dec. 2023 Hello, unexpectedly riveting perversion of endless potential. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rivet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near rivet

Cite this Entry

“Rivet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rivet. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
riv·​et ˈriv-ət How to pronounce rivet (audio)
: a metal bolt with a head at one end 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


2 of 2 verb
: to fasten with or as if with rivets
: to attract and hold (as one's attention) completely
riveter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on rivet

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