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

Other Words from rivet


riveter noun

Synonyms for rivet

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 On a gravel bike, head up the Boulder Creek Path to Four Mile Canyon, then bang a left on Logan Mill and follow signs for the Escape Route, a forest-fire egress that’s steep enough to put you on the rivet. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, 25 Mar. 2019 Now, fresh out of a five-year nut, bolt and last rivet restoration in Australia, this legendary 79-year-old Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX, is being offered for sale with a £4.5 million, or roughly $6.1 million, price tag. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 25 Jan. 2022 More to the point, denim has moved on since Levi Strauss and Jacob W.Davis patented the rivet in 1873. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Some motorists are also installing anti-theft cages and covers that rivet into the underbody of a vehicle. Paul A. Eisenstein, NBC News, 22 July 2021 Integral to the design are the principles of acupuncture—there’s a round copper rivet on the bottom of the shoe, which touches the ground as well as the foot. Wendy Altschuler, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Then bend the aluminum into a cone as shown and drill the rivet holes. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 17 Apr. 2021 Each blade has a satin polish finish and the triple-rivet handles feature ergonomic designs. NBC News, 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, 24 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Another former colleague, Rosemary Gordon Panuco, now a special magistrate in Tucson, Arizona, said Reynolds not only knew the law but how to rivet a jury. Joe Swickard, Detroit Free Press, 5 Mar. 2022 Mamet's star has been considerably tarnished by his own doing, but his work still has the power to rivet audiences. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 3 Mar. 2022 These are incomparable real-time documents from a man with a singular perspective on the unfolding events that still rivet us today. Mark Peikert, Town & Country, 14 Feb. 2022 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, 4 Feb. 2021 Jimmy's goofy Elder Law practice turned into a subplot that totally riveted me. James Hibberd, EW.com, 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, 26 Nov. 2019 Think: automatons riveting bolts on a auto production line. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, 17 Apr. 2020 The Fifth Symphony got a performance riveting start to finish. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 9 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

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

Learn More About rivet

Time Traveler for rivet

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near rivet



rivet buster

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rivet

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rivet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rivet. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for rivet


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

More from Merriam-Webster on rivet

Nglish: Translation of rivet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rivet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rivet


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!