A metal bolt or pin having a head on one end, inserted through aligned holes in the pieces to be joined and then hammered on the plain end so as to form a second head.
tr.v. riv·et·ed, riv·et·ing, riv·ets
1. To fasten or secure, especially with a rivet or rivets.
2. To hammer and bend or flatten the headless end of (a nail or bolt) so as to fasten something.
a. To fix the attention of (someone): The audience was riveted by the suspense.
b. To engross or hold (the gaze or attention, for example).
[Middle English, from Old French river, to attach.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.