- 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.
Origin of riparian
- 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 and History for riparians
"of or pertaining to river banks," 1849, with -an + Latin riparius "of a river bank," from riparia "shore," later used in reference to the stream flowing between the banks, from ripa "(steep) bank of a river, shore," probably literally "break" (and indicating the drop off from ground level to the stream bed), or else "that which is cut out by the river," from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" (cf. Greek ereipia "ruins," eripne "slope, precipice;" Old Norse rifa "break, to tear apart;" Danish rift "breach," Middle High German rif "riverbank, seashore;" English riven, rift).
- 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.