See more synonyms for rivet on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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), riv·et·ed, riv·et·ing or (especially British) riv·et·ted, riv·et·ting.
  1. to fasten with a rivet or rivets.
  2. to hammer or spread out the end of (a pin, bolt, etc.) in order to form a head and secure something; clinch.
  3. to fasten or fix firmly.
  4. 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 formsriv·et·er, nounriv·et·less, adjectiveun·riv·et·ed, adjectiveun·riv·et·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for riveted

Contemporary Examples of riveted

Historical Examples of riveted

  • He riveted on the gods his enemies the yoke which had been resting on them.

  • A smith was speedily in attendance, who riveted upon him a set of heavy irons.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • He was close to the girl, and his eyes were riveted upon the little packet.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • She came to the spot, as though attracted by some power, and she remained, as if riveted there.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • Riveted to his chair, he remained in despair until eventide.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for riveted


  1. 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 -ets, -eting or -eted (tr)
  1. to join by riveting
  2. to hammer in order to form into a head
  3. (often passive) to cause to be fixed or held firmly, as in fascinated attention, horror, etcto be riveted to the spot
Derived Formsriveter, noun

Word Origin for rivet

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

Word Origin and History for riveted



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