Definition of rivet in US English:



  • 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.

    • ‘‘For one, I just went to the hardware store and bought sheet metal, rivets and screws, and bolts and nuts’ he said.’
    • ‘Resembling a modified version of the Towers of Hanoi, the work consists of brushed-aluminum bands stacked on top of each other and held in place by slender aluminum strips and rivets.’
    • ‘If the rivet is too short, there is not enough material to form a satisfactory blind side (shop-formed) head.’
    • ‘The ‘sizzle cymbal’ has a series of holes drilled in it, each loosely holding a rivet; a sizzling sound is produced when the cymbal is struck.’
    • ‘Components are assembled using attractive stainless steel fasteners or aluminum pop rivets that keep the fence secure.’
    • ‘I had to drill out the rivets that held the 3.5 " rack and remove the rack.’
    • ‘The pop rivet itself looks something like a nail with a flanged metal sleeve over one end.’
    • ‘The brickmaker ordered rivets, to the delight of Marlow and the mechanics.’
    • ‘The artist creates an aerial ocean image out of metal rivets and an urban landscape out of Lego blocks.’
    • ‘‘They count the rivets and analyze the position of the nose guns’ she said.’
    • ‘I wanted to cut it down to the appropriate size above the radiator and install screws where the rivets were and then position the bottom of the rack on top of the radiator.’
    • ‘It is a relatively strong, efficient, good-looking and convenient rivet.’
    • ‘The wooden foundations and a prevalence of ground water has caused subsidence ever since, and in 1993 a rivet fell from the metal skeleton.’
    • ‘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 body features the company's aerodynamic exterior, offering outstanding thermal efficiency with a seamless, ultra-smooth surface with no rivets or screws.’
    • ‘It was exactly what I had envisioned - clean and cool - but the rivets posed a problem for fitting the glass because they protruded 1/4 inch from the back of the mat.’
    • ‘‘We model everything down to the minutest detail,’ Masefield says, ‘including each and every rivet.’’
    • ‘You can almost hear the popping of rivets and the pinging of the sonar.’
    • ‘The sculpture is directly constructed from patched-together steel sheets and extrusions, the material marked by occasional rivets and holes.’
    • ‘This entailed drilling a hole in each bullet to take the rivet.’
    1. 1.1 A device similar to a rivet for holding seams of clothing together.
      • ‘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.’


[with object]
  • 1Join or fasten (plates of metal) with a rivet or rivets.

    ‘the linings are bonded, not riveted, to the brake shoes for longer wear’
    ‘the riveted plates of the floor’
    • ‘So I cut heavy indoor/outdoor carpeting into 10-inch-wide vertical slats, folded them over, and riveted them onto a piece of pipe attached to a couple extra-tall fence posts.’
    • ‘Boeing also aims to assemble each 7E7 in three days, compared with the 20 or so it takes to weld and rivet a 767.’
    • ‘According to the 2nd-century ad traveller Pausanias, the process involved hammering sheets of metal into the shape of a figure and riveting them together over a solid core.’
    • ‘A fine example is the watch pin in Plate IV, which is made in two sections riveted together.’
    • ‘The roof deck is formed from prefabricated stressed skin panels comprising two profiled steel decks riveted together with their troughs aligned in opposite directions.’
    • ‘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 extensions are actually part of each side of the saw clamp, riveted together at the outer end.’
    • ‘The ornate pommel is of Phrygian cap form, made in two parts riveted together at the top.’
    • ‘Thus Art Deco architectural elements, riveted beams of steel bridges, and classical sculptural reliefs appear in tondos that float on scenes of Oregon as it was encountered by explorers and pioneers.’
    • ‘After Uncle Vernon has riveted bars across Harry's window, Ron Weasley and his brothers arrive in their father's flying car to free him.’
    • ‘Made chiefly from riveted stainless steel and copper sheeting, these free-standing works are occasionally complemented with wood.’
    • ‘He heard the sounds of parts being welded and riveted together, and the clank of titanium against steel.’
    • ‘The original Victorian cast iron structure has been stripped back and exposed, its riveted, pitted hulk like a decaying ship's hull.’
    fasten, fix, affix, join, connect, couple, link, secure, make fast, tie, tie up, bind, fetter, strap, rope, tether, truss, lash, hitch, moor, anchor, yoke, chain
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  • 2Hold (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’
    • ‘Just a bit past the halfway mark, the film has a surprise twist that will leave viewers riveted to their seats.’
    • ‘Cary remained riveted to his seat, his head in his hands.’
    • ‘I stood riveted to the spot as I listened for any sounds in return.’
    • ‘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.’
    fixed, rooted, frozen
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    1. 2.1 Attract and completely engross (someone)
      ‘he was riveted by the newsreels shown on television’
      • ‘The TV show will please those looking for both riveting drama and offbeat comedy.’
      • ‘From the opening scene of Mulholland Drive to the very end I was riveted; nothing would have budged me from my seat.’
      • ‘But with all of that, the audience seemed to stay riveted from the beginning to the end.’
      • ‘This powerful story, given life by fine direction and excellent performances, had me riveted from beginning to end, and I haven't been able to say that about a movie yet this year.’
      • ‘The play had been a huge success, riveting most everyone who saw it.’
      • ‘It's a riveting character study that really deserves to make a big splash with audiences of every age.’
      • ‘Far more than the story of one beleaguered farmer, it is a riveting dramatic allegory about human nature and the nature of our society.’
      • ‘Bobby Darin's life in Beyond The Sea, while extraordinary on its own terms, lacks a dramatic arc needed to produce a really riveting film.’
      • ‘‘I'd never heard of him, but loved the play and was riveted by him,’ says Lynd.’
      • ‘The case was riveting drama, making Ruth and Judd overnight celebrities.’
      • ‘Now 59 and residing in a French village, Groover has proved to be an artist who can take a camera - any kind of camera - and create a riveting picture with whatever is in view.’
      • ‘The Ring is a great suspense film that will draw you in and keep you riveted until the final seconds.’
      • ‘Fortunately the performances are so riveting that these minor distractions are easily overlooked.’
      • ‘The content and form of the shows tell difficult, discomfiting, and riveting stories.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I found it riveting, funny and, yup, inspiring.’
      • ‘Both aspects were recently on display in a riveting exhibition of nearly 40 sculptures, drawings and prints at Lennon, Weinberg Gallery in New York.’
      • ‘The complete attention of this actor to every second of action, to every one of her movements, made a riveting performance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Keith's comic timing and expressive delivery made for a truly riveting performance.’
      fascinated, engrossed, gripped, captivated, enthralled, intrigued, spellbound, rapt, mesmerized, transfixed
      fascinating, gripping, engrossing, very interesting, very exciting, thrilling, absorbing, captivating, enthralling, intriguing, compelling, compulsive, spellbinding, mesmerizing, hypnotic, transfixing
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    2. 2.2 Direct (one's eyes or attention) intently.
      ‘all eyes were riveted on him’
      • ‘His attention was already riveted elsewhere, engrossed in a basketball game on TV.’
      • ‘The werewolf stopped moving towards them, his yellow eyes riveted on the bird.’
      • ‘As the attention of the audience was riveted on the artiste's magnificent performance, perhaps it was not missed.’
      • ‘The voice is more honeyed than the typical British tenor but a pleading urgency tugs at the ear as much as his intense physical embodiment of the music rivets the eye.’
      • ‘It is a work of embarrassing, even repulsive power that rivets your eyes.’
      • ‘He swore he could feel their gaze riveted on him as he ventured his way through it all.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In these paintings, Shemesh scrutinizes sex and self so boldly that she rivets our attention.’
      • ‘It was not only a dramatic performance that rivets your attention; it was also considered an audiophile LP.’
      • ‘Perhaps this was because everyone was so afraid of missing a signal that attention was riveted on him and his sets were quiet.’
      • ‘A great score by Krzystof Penderecki and gorgeous cinematography keep the ear and eye riveted even while the brain is in meltdown.’
      • ‘The next movement, a tedious and far too expansive Ländler, does not rivet the listener's attention like the first.’
      • ‘You go out there and you have to rivet the attention of the audience.’
      • ‘It literally riveted the attention of a nation, black and white, for a full week and has never been surpassed in the ratings for a multi-part drama.’
      • ‘She stayed motionless, with gaze riveted upon her child, and her face the picture of fright.’
      • ‘Phil scanned the pool area, then kept his eyes riveted on the hallway.’
      • ‘Amy's eyes were so riveted on the sunset that she didn't notice Jack coming up behind her.’
      fixed on, fastened on, focused on, concentrated on, pinned on, locked on, directed at
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Middle English: from Old French, from river ‘fix, clinch’, of unknown ultimate origin.