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[riv-it] /ˈrɪv ɪt/
a metal pin for passing through holes in two or more plates or pieces to hold them together, usually made with a head at one end, the other end being hammered into a head after insertion.
verb (used with object), riveted, riveting or (especially British) rivetted, rivetting.
to fasten with a rivet or rivets.
to hammer or spread out the end of (a pin, bolt, etc.) in order to form a head and secure something; clinch.
to fasten or fix firmly.
to hold (the eye, attention, etc.) firmly.
Origin of rivet
1350-1400; (noun) Middle English revette, rivette < Old French rivet, derivative of river to attach; (v.) Middle English revetten, derivative of the noun
Related forms
riveter, noun
rivetless, adjective
unriveted, adjective
unriveting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for riveter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Beyond the hill I cud hear the surf pounding like a riveter in a boiler.

  • The riveter and his mates occasionally practise the ludicrous.

    Life in a Railway Factory Alfred Williams
  • His place and function are now, for the most part, occupied by the cutter and the clicker, the riveter and the machine-girl.

    Lives of Illustrious Shoemakers William Edward Winks
  • The normal order of promotion is from labourer to puller-up, from puller-up to riveter, and thence to the position of chargeman.

    Life in a Railway Factory Alfred Williams
  • He took refuge behind Sutton the riveter, whose gun had made such noise that he had heard none of the clamor.

    The Cup of Fury Rupert Hughes
  • The first day the riveter was employed, the whole camp made excuses to come and listen to it.

    Out To Win Coningsby Dawson
  • But, after the first day or so, Mr. Soaping (name of the gentleman I'm telling you about) I know didn't hear the riveter at all.

    Turns about Town Robert Cortes Holliday
British Dictionary definitions for riveter


a short metal pin for fastening two or more pieces together, having a head at one end, the other end being hammered flat after being passed through holes in the pieces
verb (transitive) -ets, -eting, -eted
to join by riveting
to hammer in order to form into a head
(often passive) to cause to be fixed or held firmly, as in fascinated attention, horror, etc: to be riveted to the spot
Derived Forms
riveter, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from river to fasten, fix, of unknown origin
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 riveter

1800, agent noun from rivet (v.).



c.1400, from Old French rivet "nail, rivet," from Old French river "to clench, fix, fasten," possibly from Middle Dutch wriven "turn, grind," related to rive (v.). The English word may be directly from Middle Dutch.



early 15c., from rivet (n.). Meaning "to command the attention" is from c.1600. Related: Riveted; riveting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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