[ ri-pair-ee-uh n, rahy- ]
/ rɪˈpɛər i ən, raɪ- /


of, relating to, or situated or dwelling on the bank of a river or other body of water: riparian villas.


Law. a person who owns land on the bank of a natural watercourse or body of water.


Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of riparian

1840–50; < Latin rīpāri(us) that frequents riverbanks (rīp(a) bank of a river1 + -ārius -ary) + -an


non·ri·par·i·an, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for riparian

British Dictionary definitions for riparian

/ (raɪˈpɛərɪən) /


of, inhabiting, or situated on the bank of a river
denoting or relating to the legal rights of the owner of land on a river bank, such as fishing or irrigation


property law a person who owns land on a river bank

Word Origin for riparian

C19: from Latin rīpārius, from rīpa a river bank
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

Scientific definitions for riparian

[ rĭ-pârē-ən ]

Relating to or inhabiting the banks of a natural course of water. Riparian zones are ecologically diverse and contribute to the health of other aquatic ecosystems by filtering out pollutants and preventing erosion. Salmon in the Pacific Northwest feed off riparian insects; trees such as the black walnut, the American sycamore, and the cottonwood thrive in riparian environments.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.