Definition of river in English:

river

Syllabification: riv·er
Pronunciation: /ˈrivər
 
/

noun

1A large natural stream of water flowing in a channel to the sea, a lake, or another such stream.
More example sentences
  • Global warming could devastate lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands throughout the United States.
  • In river valleys, water that seeps from canals and fields provides groundwater that can be pumped for various purposes or the water may return to rivers through streams or creeks.
  • Water can be obtained from streams, rivers, lakes, or underground aquifers, which are used to supply private wells and public drinking water.
Synonyms
1.1A large quantity of a flowing substance: great rivers of molten lava figurative the trickle of disclosures has grown into a river of revelations
More example sentences
  • The young man was sweating profusely; rivers of it were flowing down his pale face.
  • I proceeded along the jagged ridges staring down into a river of a boiling red substance.
  • There I am running rivers of sweat down my neck, down my chest, down my belly and through my shirt, and I'm dancing harder than I've ever danced to a rock band.
Synonyms
stream, torrent, flood, deluge, cascade
1.2 [as modifier] Used in names of animals and plants living in or associated with rivers, e.g., river dolphin, river birch.

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, based on Latin riparius, from ripa 'bank of a river'.

Phrases

sell someone down the river

informal Betray someone, especially so as to benefit oneself.
[earlier referring to the sale of a troublesome slave to the owner of a sugarcane plantation on the lower Mississippi, where conditions were harsher]
More example sentences
  • Staff feel they have been sold down the river by the Government.
  • And they say they feel they have been sold down the river by their union leaders, who last week accepted a pay settlement involving changes in shift patterns and working practices.
  • He has sold us down the river and made our democracy a joke.

up the river

North American informal To or in prison.
[with allusion to Sing Sing prison, situated up the Hudson River from New York City]
More example sentences
  • You're indicted, convicted and sent up the river.
  • Let me be on record as being strongly opposed to sending Limbaugh up the river, even though that is the penalty he wished to inflict on others.
  • They're sent up the river for ‘life,’ having all the time in the world to spend together.

Derivatives

rivered

adjective
More example sentences
  • All Night Radio serve up an escapist's reminder that spring is fast approaching, and we always need music for open windows, top-down convertibles and misty drives on roads rivered with melted snow.
  • His bloated face was rivered with veins, like raspberry ripple ice-cream.

riverless

adjective
More example sentences
  • But, so far as we could discover, the land was riverless, and eternal frost prevailed.
  • O'Connor saw for himself the arid, riverless country through which the new railway line from Northam must pass.

Definition of river in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day iconoclasm
Pronunciation: ʌɪˈkɒnəklaz(ə)m
noun
attacking or rejecting cherished beliefs or established values...