Meaning of RIVER in English

I. ˈrivə(r) noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English rivere, river, from Old French rivere, riviere riverbank, land along a river, river, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin riparia, from Latin, feminine of riparius riparian, from ripa bank, shore + -arius -ary — more at rive


a. : a natural surface stream of water of considerable volume and permanent or seasonal flow

river channel

river gravel

river engineer

— compare brook , creek

b. : watercourse

dry river

underground river

c. : estuary , tidal river

York River, Va.

Neponset River, Mass.

also : inlet , strait

East River, N.Y.

Sakonnet River, R.I.

Indian River, Fla.


a. : something resembling a river

river of ice

river of air

rivers of lava glow an angry red — Read Magazine

the enormous oceanic river of the Gulf Stream — Marjory S. Douglas

costumes … made a rippling, many-colored river of the street — H.A.Sinclair

the never-failing river of student life — J.B.Conant

b. rivers plural : copious flow : large or overwhelming quantities : outpouring

rivers of birds pouring against the sunset back to the rookeries — Marjory S. Douglas

rain, pouring down through the blackness in solid rivers — C.S.Forester

rivers of print that gushed forth about her — Mollie Panter-Downes

drank rivers of coffee

3. : a pure-white diamond of very high grade occasionally with a prismatic blue radiance

4. : a white typically irregular streak or area running through several lines of close-set printed matter and caused by a series of wide spaces that appear to form a continuous line — called also channel, gutter, staircase

- down the river

- up the river

II. ˈrīvə(r) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, one that rives, from riven to rive + -er — more at rive

: one that rives ; specifically : a worker who splits blocks of wood with a froe to make pickets, posts, or rails

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.