verb (used with object), rived, rived or riv·en, riv·ing.

to tear or rend apart: to rive meat from a bone.
to separate by striking; split; cleave.
to rend, harrow, or distress (the feelings, heart, etc.).
to split (wood) radially from a log.

verb (used without object), rived, rived or riv·en, riv·ing.

to become rent or split apart: stones that rive easily.

Origin of rive

1225–75; Middle English riven < Old Norse rīfa to tear, split. See rift
Related formsun·rived, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for riving

Historical Examples of riving

British Dictionary definitions for riving


verb rives, riving, rived, rived or riven (ˈrɪvən) (usually passive)

to split asundera tree riven by lightning
to tear apartriven to shreds
archaic to break (the heart) or (of the heart) to be broken

Word Origin for rive

C13: from Old Norse rīfa; related to Old Frisian rīva
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 riving



"tear in pieces, strike asunder," c.1200, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rifa "to tear apart" (cf. Swedish rifva, Danish rive "scratch, tear"), from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" (see riparian).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper