9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[riv-it] /ˈrɪv ɪt/
a metal pin for passing through holes in two or more plates or pieces to hold them together, usually made with a head at one end, the other end being hammered into a head after insertion.
verb (used with object), riveted, riveting or (especially British) rivetted, rivetting.
to fasten with a rivet or rivets.
to hammer or spread out the end of (a pin, bolt, etc.) in order to form a head and secure something; clinch.
to fasten or fix firmly.
to hold (the eye, attention, etc.) firmly.
Origin of rivet
1350-1400; (noun) Middle English revette, rivette < Old French rivet, derivative of river to attach; (v.) Middle English revetten, derivative of the noun
Related forms
riveter, noun
rivetless, adjective
unriveted, adjective
unriveting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for riveting
  • Explorer investigates riveting topics from around the world.
  • Though fantastic and riveting as her stories may be, her life itself is so much more interesting and full of mystery.
  • The hyperactive narrative and hypnotic visuals make for a riveting comics showdown.
  • Anyways, the personality trait section was riveting.
  • Even more riveting is the later struggle to the ocean of each tiny, vulnerable hatchling.
  • It's really helpful to highlight some of riveting stories that get lost in the rush of news.
  • The book is a delicious, riveting engagement of both senses and intellect.
  • See riveting images from this acclaimed musical and photographic artist.
  • Few spectacles in nature are more riveting than a sea lion feasting on a jumbo salmon.
  • The combination of scale, rich detail and brilliant color and compositional and narrative drama is riveting.
British Dictionary definitions for riveting


absolutely fascinating; enthralling


a short metal pin for fastening two or more pieces together, having a head at one end, the other end being hammered flat after being passed through holes in the pieces
verb (transitive) -ets, -eting, -eted
to join by riveting
to hammer in order to form into a head
(often passive) to cause to be fixed or held firmly, as in fascinated attention, horror, etc: to be riveted to the spot
Derived Forms
riveter, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from river to fasten, fix, of unknown origin
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 riveting

"commanding attention," 1854, present participle adjective from rivet (v.). Related: Rivetingly.



c.1400, from Old French rivet "nail, rivet," from Old French river "to clench, fix, fasten," possibly from Middle Dutch wriven "turn, grind," related to rive (v.). The English word may be directly from Middle Dutch.


early 15c., from rivet (n.). Meaning "to command the attention" is from c.1600. Related: Riveted; riveting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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