Definition of rivet in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrivit/


Image of rivet
1A short metal pin or bolt for holding together two plates of metal, its headless end being beaten out or pressed down when in place.
Example sentences
  • ‘For one, I just went to the hardware store and bought sheet metal, rivets and screws, and bolts and nuts’ he said.
  • For 33 years, Rodia worked single-handedly to build his towers without benefit of machine equipment, scaffolding, bolts, rivets, welds or drawing board designs.
  • The wooden foundations and a prevalence of ground water has caused subsidence ever since, and in 1993 a rivet fell from the metal skeleton.
1.1A device similar to a rivet for holding seams of clothing together.
Example sentences
  • At the left is an elegant red chair with cloth fringe and brass rivets and a tiny lectern.
  • Earlier versions are more likely to represent the designer's intentions, and assiduous collectors examine furniture to check that rivets and supports are in the right place, and that materials are correct.

verb (rivets, riveting, riveted)

[with object]
1Join or fasten (plates of metal or other material) with a rivet or rivets: the linings are bonded, not riveted, to the brake shoes for longer wear
More example sentences
  • Boeing also aims to assemble each 7E7 in three days, compared with the 20 or so it takes to weld and rivet a 767.
  • They would cut these cans in half and others would rivet and weld the feet on to the cans and they were then turned into cooking stoves.
  • The ornate pommel is of Phrygian cap form, made in two parts riveted together at the top.
1.1Hold (someone or something) fast so as to make them incapable of movement: the grip on her arm was firm enough to rivet her to the spot
More example sentences
  • The French were riveted by Napoleon's demise in remote exile on St. Helena in 1821.
  • And it is to rivet this detail in our mind that at this point Defoe describes Crusoe's wardrobe.
  • Cary remained riveted to his seat, his head in his hands.
fixed, rooted, frozen, unable to move;
motionless, unmoving, immobile, stock-still
1.2Attract and completely engross (someone): he was riveted by the reports shown on television
More example sentences
  • It may occasionally go a bit far; it may not surprise you with every single twist; but the story, witty dialogue, and acting will rivet you.
  • Far more than the story of one beleaguered farmer, it is a riveting dramatic allegory about human nature and the nature of our society.
  • Kids who have never been in an art museum before are riveted by the experience, lingering far longer than adults as they puzzle out the meanings of a single work.
fascinated, engrossed, gripped, captivated, enthralled, spellbound, mesmerized, transfixed
fascinating, gripping, engrossing, interesting, intriguing, absorbing, captivating, enthralling, compelling, spellbinding, mesmerizing
informal unputdownable
1.3Direct (one’s eyes or attention) intently: all eyes were riveted on him
More example sentences
  • Perhaps this was because everyone was so afraid of missing a signal that attention was riveted on him and his sets were quiet.
  • Before world attention became riveted on the devastated landscapes of the Gulf Coast of the United States, a happier announcement celebrated design excellence in other landscapes.
  • A great score by Krzystof Penderecki and gorgeous cinematography keep the ear and eye riveted even while the brain is in meltdown.
fixed, fastened, focused, concentrated, locked



Pronunciation: /ˈrividər/
Example sentences
  • I have been several times to the North East to write about working lives that were over by the age of 50 when the coal mines closed or welders and riveters were no longer needed on the Tyne.
  • ‘I can't remember the last time I dealt with a welder or a riveter,’ says John Daly, a local training advisor.
  • It was the beginning of almost three years of slave labour, first in Java, then on the Japanese mainland where he became a riveter in the giant Mitsubishi shipyard in Nagasaki.


Middle English: from Old French, from river 'fix, clinch', of unknown ultimate origin.

Words that rhyme with rivet

civet, privet, trivet

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: riv·et

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