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

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

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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: Noun Each blade has a satin polish finish and the triple-rivet handles feature ergonomic designs. NBC News, "Best March sales 2021: How to find the best deals this spring," 2 Mar. 2021 The cover of the Memorial Day 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post featured a Norman Rockwell painting of a muscular woman calmly eating a sandwich while balancing a rivet gun on her lap. John Pope, NOLA.com, "Rosie remembered: 'Every woman ... was proud of her contributions' to help win World War II," 24 Sep. 2020 One image from a 1953 issue of National Geographic showed Margaret in a red plaid shirt and black trousers, working with a rivet gun in the belly of an airplane. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "How to wow 'em at a 100th birthday party? Enter clog dancing, of course," 19 Aug. 2020 Plus, the sheath’s belt loop is attached with a rivet, which allows for vertical or horizontal carry. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "Helle’s Temagami Knife is a Thing of Beauty," 30 June 2020 In 1873, Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis received a US patent for men’s work pants made with copper rivets. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 20 May 2020 Authorities later noticed loose rivets in the aircraft’s nose, and Sanchez Rojas and Fossi Grieco told authorities that 230 pounds of the gold was there. Washington Post, "Deported veteran back in U.S. for hearing," 25 Sep. 2019 With a rocker’s bleached-out shag, ropy arms vined with tattoos and jangly silver bracelets, and skintight jeans slashed by rips and rivets, Mr. Webb was a proudly resolute bearer of the punk-glam torch, even as the decades moved inexorably along. Penelope Green, New York Times, "Jimmy Webb, Purveyor of Punk Fashion, Is Dead at 62," 16 Apr. 2020 Born into privilege, prep school raised, 19-year-old Walter delayed Vassar to drive rivets on an assembly line for fighter planes. National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 9 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Anderson and his assistant, Amy Lahey (no relation to Jim), bend, weld, grind, polish and rivet each of the boxes in their workshop in Newburgh, N.Y., and are often told that the finished products work a little too well. New York Times, "The T List: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, Part I," 4 Feb. 2021 Jimmy's goofy Elder Law practice turned into a subplot that totally riveted me. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Better Call Saul vs. Breaking Bad: We decide which is better," 15 Apr. 2020 The episode has riveted the criminology community—and severed a once close relationship after one of the researchers accused his former mentor of falsifying data. Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Science | AAAS, "Quintet of study retractions rocks criminology community," 26 Nov. 2019 Think: automatons riveting bolts on a auto production line. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, "For most businesses, coronavirus is a threat. For San Antonio robot makers, it’s an opening," 17 Apr. 2020 The Fifth Symphony got a performance riveting start to finish. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Wonderfully fresh Beethoven from violinist Midori and the Fort Worth Symphony," 9 Feb. 2020 So when Kurzel read Peter Carey’s 2000 Booker Prize–winning novel, from which his film takes its title and more, he was riveted by its framing as an autobiography, written by Ned to his daughter on the eve of his hanging. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "‘True History of the Kelly Gang’ director, stars on their hypnotic outlaw saga," 23 Apr. 2020 Viewers stuck at home have been riveted with stone skipping, sign spinning and marble racing. NBC News, "Coronavirus: Massive stimulus bill stalls in Senate as Trump activates National Guard," 23 Mar. 2020 Your attention may be riveted on ways to prove your true love and devotion to a special someone, or ways to display your loyalty to your family, employer or hometown. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 23, 2019: Cancer, kiss and make up; Capricorn, loosen up and relax," 23 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for rivet

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rivet

Last Updated

13 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rivet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rivet. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce rivet (audio) \

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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