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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was a lightning in his eyes which seemed to rive the spectator.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler
  • I wouldna care if ye were to rive horse and beast and a' from me now.

    The Northern Iron George A. Birmingham
  • And he tugged at my tail-coat like to rive it off me, your honour.

    The Dew of Their Youth S. R. Crockett
  • It began at its northernly end in 1855 as boulevard Sbastopol, rive Gauche.

    Historic Paris Jetta S. Wolff
  • On the rive Gauche, the walks at nightfall are more difficult to indicate.

    Paris Vistas Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • I meant them to rive; and see how the cowards have scampered off from them.

    The Kangaroo Hunters

    Anne Bowman
  • He gave up his entire day to showing us the beauties of the rive Gauche.

    The Adventures of a Modest Man Robert W. Chambers
  • But she was not to come in as a wedge to rive her from this man.

  • 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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