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[riv-yuh-lit] /ˈrɪv yə lɪt/
a small stream; streamlet; brook.
1580-90; earlier rivolet < Italian rivoletto, diminutive of rivolo < Latin rīvulus small stream Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rivulets
  • Their faces and arms are coated with soot, and sweat makes small rivulets on their skin.
  • Moments later the air fills with the sound of running water, as the skin of ice melts, freeing the rivulets.
  • As the sauce cooks, globules or rivulets of butter will probably rise to the top.
  • By late morning, rivulets of melt are trickling down the ice.
  • It dripped from eaves and ran in silken rivulets into arid gardens and iridescent streets.
  • Shallow rivulets course nearly all the cool, humid valleys that cut through the reserve.
  • Most people find accommodations between the religious mainstream and their own sidelong rivulets.
  • Other ultra-decoration included rivulets of ruffles, the look of barnacles and pearls gleaming through chiffon.
  • rivulets of chemical corrosion, almost oceanic in their intense coloring, run down the sides.
  • Throughout the show, his stains and rivulets of paint are complex and moving.
British Dictionary definitions for rivulets


a small stream
Word Origin
C16: from Italian rivoletto, from Latin rīvulus, from rīvus stream
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
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Word Origin and History for rivulets



1580s, from Italian rivoletto, diminutive of rivolo, itself a diminutive of rivo "brook," from Latin rivus "stream, brook," from PIE *reiwos, literally "that which flows," from root *reie- "to flow, run" (see Rhine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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