riv·​et·​ing | \ ˈri-və-tiŋ How to pronounce riveting (audio) \

Definition of riveting

: having the power to fix the attention : engrossing, fascinating a riveting story

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Other Words from riveting

rivetingly \ ˈri-​və-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce rivetingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of riveting in a Sentence

a riveting explanation of light waves that fascinated the class
Recent Examples on the Web Parks's photo essay is the centerpiece of a riveting show at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles through Sunday. National Geographic, "How do photographers see things differently?," 8 Nov. 2019 Brown answers in the video of her rescue — a riveting moment in the three-part limited series Serial Killer: Devil Unchained, which premieres Monday (9 p.m. ET) on Investigation Discovery. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "Inside the Dramatic Rescue of Woman Locked in Container and ‘Chained Like a Dog’ by Serial Killer," 22 July 2019 While Biden wasted no time bashing President Donald Trump during the second night of the Democratic presidential debates in Miami, the frontrunner was stunned by Harris during a riveting moment. Terry Collins, Fortune, "Harris Has a Strong Showing, Stuns Biden on Night 2 of Democratic Debate," 28 June 2019 The players made the most riveting remarks to reinstate Taylor. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Arcadia football players, parents, assistants rally to get Kerry Taylor reinstated as head coach," 6 June 2019 The fantastic Syfy series is riveting and addresses topics on humanity, the morality of artificial intelligence, what qualifies as patriotism and terrorism. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The 5 best space TV shows to binge-watch this weekend, in honor of 'Lost in Space'," 14 Apr. 2018 Lupita Nyong’o delivers not one but two of the year’s most riveting performances in a film which begins as a fraught home-invasion thriller and builds into a bold science-fiction epic. The Economist, "What to watch The best films released in 2019," 19 Dec. 2019 The closing arguments come after seven days of riveting testimony in the high-profile trial, which has attracted national media attention. Emilie Eaton, ExpressNews.com, "Prosecutors urge jury to convict boyfriend in death of Trinity University student," 11 Dec. 2019 Nevertheless, the Lakers-Pelicans matchup could be riveting. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Jrue Holiday hopes Pelicans fans show 'respect' to Lakers' Anthony Davis during his return," 27 Nov. 2019

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

1677, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for riveting

Time Traveler

The first known use of riveting was in 1677

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Statistics for riveting

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Riveting.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/riveting. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for riveting


How to pronounce riveting (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of riveting

: very exciting or interesting

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More from Merriam-Webster on riveting

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for riveting

Spanish Central: Translation of riveting

Nglish: Translation of riveting for Spanish Speakers

Comments on riveting

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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