- a natural stream of water of fairly large size flowing in a definite course or channel or series of diverging and converging channels.
- a similar stream of something other than water: a river of lava; a river of ice.
- any abundant stream or copious flow; outpouring: rivers of tears; rivers of words.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Eridanus.
- Printing. a vertical channel of white space resulting from the alignment in several lines of spaces between words.
- sell down the river, to betray; desert; mislead: to sell one's friends down the river.
- up the river, Slang.
- to prison: to be sent up the river for a bank robbery.
- in prison: Thirty years up the river had made him a stranger to society.
Origin of river1
- a person who rives.
Origin of river2
Examples from the Web for river
He observes the bodies floating away on the river, pulling on his cigarette with a sneer.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
But you know, I had only one other hero in my life acting and that was River [Phoenix].Coffee Talk with Ethan Hawke: On ‘Boyhood,’ Jennifer Lawrence, and Bill Clinton’s Urinal Exchange
December 27, 2014
Today, the train chugs north out of Kanchanaburi over the famous bridge before it hits a spectacular bend in the river.
And then, on one recent morning, the train made a stop at a small station near an especially beautiful section of the river.
Along the river, crumbling remnants of an active trading hub are overtaken by nature.The Congo's Forgotten Colonial Getaway
December 18, 2014
I see some man in the East has a fad for breaking the ice in the river and going swimming.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Then, Robert, you quarreled with the man you took across the river.
I was down at the river just now, and saw it with my own eyes.
The Jews have crossed the river Jordan and have occupied Palestine.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
At eight o'clock we got under way, and followed along the river.Explorations in Australia
- a large natural stream of fresh water flowing along a definite course, usually into the sea, being fed by tributary streams
- (as modifier)river traffic; a river basin
- (in combination)riverside; riverbed Related adjectives: fluvial, potamic
- any abundant stream or flowa river of blood
- sell down the river informal to deceive or betray
- the river poker slang the fifth and final community card to be dealt in a round of Texas hold 'em
Word Origin and History for river
early 13c., from Anglo-French rivere, Old French riviere "river, riverside, river bank" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *riparia "riverbank, seashore, river" (cf. Spanish ribera, Italian riviera), noun use of fem. of Latin riparius "of a riverbank" (see riparian). Generalized sense of "a copious flow" of anything is from late 14c. The Old English word was ea "river," cognate with Gothic ahwa, Latin aqua (see aqua-). Romanic cognate words tend to retain the sense "river bank" as the main one, or else the secondary Latin sense "coast of the sea" (cf. Riviera).
U.S. slang phrase up the river "in prison" (1891) is originally in reference to Sing Sing prison, which was literally "up the (Hudson) river" from New York City. Phrase down the river "done for, finished" perhaps echoes sense in sell down the river (1851), originally of troublesome slaves, to sell from the Upper South to the harsher cotton plantations of the Deep South.
- A wide, natural stream of fresh water that flows into an ocean or other large body of water and is usually fed by smaller streams, called tributaries, that enter it along its course. A river and its tributaries form a drainage basin, or watershed, that collects the runoff throughout the region and channels it along with erosional sediments toward the river. The sediments are typically deposited most heavily along the river's lower course, forming floodplains along its banks and a delta at its mouth.