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90s Slang You Should Know


[rahyv] /raɪv/
verb (used with object), rived, rived or riven, riving.
to tear or rend apart:
to rive meat from a bone.
to separate by striking; split; cleave.
to rend, harrow, or distress (the feelings, heart, etc.).
to split (wood) radially from a log.
verb (used without object), rived, rived or riven, riving.
to become rent or split apart:
stones that rive easily.
Origin of rive
1225-75; Middle English riven < Old Norse rīfa to tear, split. See rift
Related forms
unrived, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I wouldna care if ye were to rive horse and beast and a' from me now.

    The Northern Iron George A. Birmingham
  • He gave up his entire day to showing us the beauties of the rive Gauche.

    The Adventures of a Modest Man Robert W. Chambers
  • It began at its northernly end in 1855 as boulevard Sbastopol, rive Gauche.

    Historic Paris Jetta S. Wolff
  • It has no certain Grain; and it is almost impossible to split or rive it.

  • In agony that seemed to rive her heart she closed her eyes lest he might see in them the anguish she knew was there.

  • To employ a metaphor, theirs was a versatility which "could pick up a needle or rive an oak!"

  • On Friday afternoon, when we were taking a walk along the quais of the rive Gauche, we had no suspicion what was going to happen.

    Paris Vistas Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • On his helmet the rubies did he rive; The stroke went through the helmet for it reached unto the flesh.

    The Lay of the Cid R. Selden Rose
  • There was a lightning in his eye that seemed to rive the spectator.

    The Bobbin Boy William M. Thayer
British Dictionary definitions for rive


verb (usually passive) rives, riving, rived, rived, riven (ˈrɪvən)
to split asunder: a tree riven by lightning
to tear apart: riven to shreds
(archaic) to break (the heart) or (of the heart) to be broken
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse rīfa; related to Old Frisian rīva
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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Word Origin and History for rive

"tear in pieces, strike asunder," c.1200, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rifa "to tear apart" (cf. Swedish rifva, Danish rive "scratch, tear"), from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" (see riparian).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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