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[ri-pair-ee-uh n, rahy-] /rɪˈpɛər i ən, raɪ-/
of, relating to, or situated or dwelling on the bank of a river or other body of water:
riparian villas.
Law. a person who owns land on the bank of a natural watercourse or body of water.
Origin of riparian
1840-50; < Latin rīpāri(us) that frequents riverbanks (rīp(a) bank of a river1 + -ārius -ary) + -an
Related forms
nonriparian, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for riparian


of, inhabiting, or situated on the bank of a river
denoting or relating to the legal rights of the owner of land on a river bank, such as fishing or irrigation
(property law) a person who owns land on a river bank
Word Origin
C19: from Latin rīpārius, from rīpa a river bank
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for riparian

pertaining to the banks of a river or stream

Word Origin

Latin ripa 'bank, shore''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for riparian

"of or pertaining to river banks," 1849, with -an + Latin riparius "of a river bank," from riparia "shore," later used in reference to the stream flowing between the banks, from ripa "(steep) bank of a river, shore," probably literally "break" (and indicating the drop off from ground level to the stream bed), or else "that which is cut out by the river," from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" (cf. Greek ereipia "ruins," eripne "slope, precipice;" Old Norse rifa "break, to tear apart;" Danish rift "breach," Middle High German rif "riverbank, seashore;" English riven, rift).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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riparian in Science
Relating to or inhabiting the banks of a natural course of water. Riparian zones are ecologically diverse and contribute to the health of other aquatic ecosystems by filtering out pollutants and preventing erosion. Salmon in the Pacific Northwest feed off riparian insects; trees such as the black walnut, the American sycamore, and the cottonwood thrive in riparian environments.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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