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 The list covers everything from steering wheels to shock absorbers, down to literal nuts and bolts, washers, springs and copper rivets. NBC News, "China set to lose out on production of 1M vehicles as coronavirus closes car plants," 5 Feb. 2020 The wood used to build the boats has rotted away, but archaeologists were able to gauge the vessels’ one-time positioning based on a small piece of keel from the smaller boat and rivets from both. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Unusual Viking Grave Includes Nested Boats Buried 100 Years Apart," 23 Nov. 2019 It was intended to replace the human mechanics who used handheld tools to insert 60,000 rivets into each plane. Paul Shukovsky, Fortune, "Boeing Sends In the Humans After Robots Botch 777 Jet Assembly," 14 Nov. 2019 Orders surged in the 1930s when engineers building the Golden Gate Bridge required workers to wear Bullard hard hats, which were upgraded to protect against falling rivets. Murray Carpenter, New York Times, "The Evolution of the Hard Hat," 1 Oct. 2019 The physical production design looks even faker, uncomfortable sofas next to rivets. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Revenge of the Sith," 3 Dec. 2019 The staff services many common equipment needs as well, including sharpening skates, and fixing rivets and eyelets. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This new hockey store in Mequon uses technology to customize equipment for players," 21 Nov. 2019 James Randall sold his aerospace rivet manufacturing company, Allfast Fastening Systems, five years ago for $360 million, according to purchaser TriMas Corp. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, "Philanthropists James and Eleanor Randall sell Malibu home for $23.425 million," 17 Sep. 2019 Dewhirst said that only a small portion of the hull has been thoroughly inspected for rivet damage. Peter Passi / Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Popular Duluth museum ship’s corrosion extends to its rivets," 5 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But those proposals also did little to animate voters, especially those riveted by the ambitious policies of Ms. Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders, and before long Ms. Harris was downplaying what were her signature proposals. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "How Kamala Harris’s Campaign Unraveled," 29 Nov. 2019 The episode portrays Philip as a man riveted by the Apollo 11 moon landing of July 20, 1969. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, "'The Crown,' season three: Did Prince Philip really have a midlife crisis?," 18 Nov. 2019 Last year, when an orca (killer whale) known as Tahlequah carried her dead calf for 17 days and a thousand miles around Puget Sound and nearby waters, the public and media worldwide were riveted by the spectacle. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "After Tahlequah and her calf, an anthology dedicated to orcas and their world," 16 Nov. 2019 In a trilogy full of meeting scenes, this two-hander was perhaps the most pivotal in all three films and McDiarmid is riveting — plus his interest in immortality could be a clue to the character’s return in The Rise of Skywalker. James Hibberd, EW.com, "J.J. Abrams reveals his favorite Star Wars prequels scene," 26 Nov. 2019 Back home in Philadelphia, this attitude endears him to a Pennsylvania mob boss named Russell Bufalino (Mr Pesci, riveting as a dapper but wizened goblin, dripping with evil). The Economist, "Trusted associates “The Irishman” is an engrossing and gloriously funny gangster epic," 31 Oct. 2019 Zellweger matches it in her own way, through hair and makeup but mostly by channeling a kind of terrified bravura that’s riveting to watch. BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘Judy,’ Renée Zellweger is Judy Garland - The Boston Globe," 26 Sep. 2019 For almost two weeks, the city was riveted by the befuddling and unsettling disappearance of the responsible and considerate young man. Tribune Media Services, al, "Alabama woman finds toys given to grandfather are link to 1947 murder," 5 Jan. 2020 The nation was riveted when former White House official Fiona Hill went to Congress in November and dismantled a main line of the president’s defense in the impeachment inquiry. Mark Kennedy, Twin Cities, "Top 12 TV moments from 2019," 13 Dec. 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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rivet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rivet. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for rivet


How to pronounce rivet (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on rivet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rivet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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