Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


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.]

riv′et·er n.


fascinated; transfixed
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:


1. rooted, fixed, frozen, motionless, immobile, unable to move, stock still They stood aghast, riveted to the spot.
2. fascinated, absorbed, entranced, captivated, enthralled, engrossed, rapt, spellbound, mesmerized, hypnotized The Germans and Italians are riveted by his songs.
References in classic literature ?
She stayed motionless, with gaze riveted upon her child, and her face the picture of fright.
The Indian riveted his glowing eyes on Heyward as he asked, in his imperfect English, "Is he alone?
said I, again riveted with the insane earnestness of his manner.
When he halted before the binnacle, with his glance fastened on the pointed needle in the compass, that glance shot like a javelin with the pointed intensity of his purpose; and when resuming his walk he again paused before the mainmast, then, as the same riveted glance fastened upon the riveted gold coin there, he still wore the same aspect of nailed firmness, only dashed with a certain wild longing, if not hopefulness.
Pratt and several other women were weeping when he sat down, and many an eye that was full of hate was riveted upon the unhappy prisoners.
Ten minutes later, Adam Ladd, who had just arrived from Portland and was wending his way to the church, came suddenly into the main street and stopped short under a tree by the wayside, riveted to the spot by a scene of picturesque loveliness such as his eyes had seldom witnessed before.
My seat, to which Bessie and the bitter Miss Abbot had left me riveted, was a low ottoman near the marble chimney-piece; the bed rose before me; to my right hand there was the high, dark wardrobe, with subdued, broken reflections varying the gloss of its panels; to my left were the muffled windows; a great looking-glass between them repeated the vacant majesty of the bed and room.
The first three words she saw riveted her attention anew -- they were the first words she had met with in the letter which directly referred to George Bartram.
As for me, every word was a new heap of fetters, riveted above the last.
All this time, I was getting on towards the river; but however fast I went, I couldn't warm my feet, to which the damp cold seemed riveted, as the iron was riveted to the leg of the man I was running to meet.