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

center, concentrate, fasten, focus, train

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Examples of rivet in a Sentence


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

If a woman drives the same amount of rivets in an airplane fuselage as a man does during an eight-hour shift, she should be paid equal to the man. Los Angeles Times, "Letters: Will USC get off the grid-lock in search for athletic director?," 13 Sep. 2019 The rivets and the steel shell plate are two different metals. Peter Passi / Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Popular Duluth museum ship’s corrosion extends to its rivets," 5 Sep. 2019 The shoes are 100% cotton and feature a lace-up vamp with silver-tone rivets. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kate Middleton's Favorite Superga Sneakers Are Only $42 Today," 15 July 2019 The Holy Bible, by contrast, sounded harsh and claustrophobic; listening to it felt like being trapped in the bowels of a giant machine, surrounded by clanking pistons and rattling rivets and vats of bubbling oil. Longreads, "Manic Street Preachers’ Album The Holy Bible," 25 June 2019 Technically, the company recreated the moment five years ago, when Nvidia calculated the visual aspects of the landing, modelling the individual rivets on the lander and modelling the reflectivity of Neil Armstrong's spacesuit and the lunar dust. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Nvidia models the Apollo 11 moon landing using RTX technology," 19 July 2019 Coffee steeps in the top chamber, which has a rivet at the bottom. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "High-design coffee maker looks like a ceramic pot," 12 June 2019 The original, gloriously zaftig and triumphant Rosie the Riveter (modeled after Michelangelo’s Prophet Isaiah, in the Sistine Chapel) eats a sandwich on her lunch break, rivet gun still nestled on her lap. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "Freedom from Inspiration," 10 Mar. 2019 This Sandro Yza bag in black with gold rivet details is great and a perfect gift! Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "6 Impossibly Chic Fashion Moms Share Their Dream Mother’s Day Gifts," 9 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While attention is riveted on the Brexit turmoil in Westminster, with dire forecasts of possible chaos, food shortages and recession, a dispiriting trend is already visible in struggling towns and cities across the nation. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "Shortchanged: Why British Life Expectancy Is Falling," 30 Aug. 2019 The subjects of Amy Sherald’s eight strong oil portraits at Hauser & Wirth impress with their looks, in both senses: striking elegance, riveting gazes. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Amy Sherald Effect," 16 Sep. 2019 Fischer, who had been playing sporadically throughout the 1960s and who seemed on the brink of quitting the game altogether, tore through the qualifying tournaments before dethroning Spassky in a 1972 match that riveted America. Peter Nicholas, The Atlantic, "The End of the Golden Era of Chess," 5 Sep. 2019 While all the performers do excellent work, Flood is particularly terrific as the neurotic Addie, making every comic zinger land and garnering laughs with physical shtick as well, while Heberlee is riveting in his anguished monologue. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Make Believe': Theater Review," 16 Aug. 2019 As riveting as those affairs were, four different matches from this weekend are worth considering in more depth, with an eye toward the execution of the match and its ramifications moving forward. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "An Electric Weekend of Action Proves Wrestling Has Never Been Better," 15 July 2019 The unprecedented case is part of a larger dispute between writers and agents that has riveted Hollywood. David Ng, latimes.com, "As writers battle their agents, finding a judge becomes a challenge," 5 June 2019 Most Americans are unaware that a sporting event that will rivet nearly two billion people and span six weeks began on Thursday in Britain. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "The Sun Never Sets on the Cricket Commonwealth," 31 May 2019 The writing is clear and jargon-free, even riveting in its deadpan just-the-facts narrative. Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books, "The Impeachment Question," 30 May 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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Statistics for rivet

Last Updated

3 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for rivet

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on rivet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rivet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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to be made up of

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