riv·​er·​bed ˈri-vər-ˌbed How to pronounce riverbed (audio)
: the channel occupied by a river

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Paulo-Leslie, 27, was taken into custody just after 1 p.m. local time on the riverbed of the Wailuku River behind Hilo High School on Hawaii Island, the Hawaii Police Department said. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, 23 Apr. 2023 Contractors had begun dredging sections of riverbed for the wind port and would continue to do so for several months. Andrew S. Lewis, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2023 The dinosaur’s bones were able to survive for tens of millions of years because the sediments of an ancient riverbed protected them. Katie Hunt, CNN, 28 Nov. 2022 For decades, so much water has been diverted to supply farms and cities that the river has seldom reached the ocean, and much of its delta in Mexico has been reduced to a dry riverbed, with only remnants of its once-vast wetlands surviving. Amy Hubbard, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2022 So much has been diverted that most of the river’s delta in Mexico was transformed decades ago into stretches of dry riverbed that wind through farmlands and desert in the Mexicali Valley. Sophia Eppolito, The Arizona Republic, 7 Aug. 2021 Al Arabiya News reported that the driver fell asleep before the bus crashed through a barrier and dropped about 20 feet onto a dry riverbed south of the city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh state. Alexis Jones, Peoplemag, 9 May 2023 Along one riverbed, a crowd has formed around a Venezuelan man in his early 20s, named Daniel. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 15 Apr. 2023 The dirt along the riverbed today looks as though somebody took a cleaver to a chocolate cake. Brennon Dixson, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'riverbed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1781, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of riverbed was in 1781

Dictionary Entries Near riverbed

Cite this Entry

“Riverbed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/riverbed. Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


riv·​er·​bed -ˌbed How to pronounce riverbed (audio)
: the channel occupied or once occupied by a river

More from Merriam-Webster on riverbed

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