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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 rivetting
Historical Examples
  • Anything want grinding, rivetting or soldering, anything to mend?

    Ditte: Girl Alive! Martin Andersen Nexo
  • He was rivetting a plate of copper on the hull of the Daisy.

  • My unfortunate misconception of painful facts may have been the means of rivetting those irons upon your limbs.

    Mark Hurdlestone Susanna Moodie
  • The large rings are much worn, and have been ingeniously repaired by rivetting a new piece to each.

  • To see it is a matter of trifling difficulty, except on one particular day—that devoted to the rivetting of the chaine.

  • It was a big thing: water-tank, grindstone, a table for rivetting, a little anvil and a big wheel—all built upon a barrow.

    Ditte: Girl Alive! Martin Andersen Nexo
  • She realised from the fixed stare which he was rivetting on her that Julien had surmised rightly.

  • These letters were addressed to Maccari's wife, and contained what is termed "rivetting" evidence.

    The Barrel Mystery

    William J. (William James) Flynn
  • Another of the firm's commercials suggested the rivetting if iron lasts were used.

    Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
  • It may be attached to the iron of the armature, either by soldering, by rivetting, or by means of two small screws.

British Dictionary definitions for rivetting


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 rivetting



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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