1. a past participle of rive.


  1. rent or split apart.
  2. split radially, as a log.

verb (used with object), rived, rived or riv·en, riv·ing.

  1. to tear or rend apart: to rive meat from a bone.
  2. to separate by striking; split; cleave.
  3. to rend, harrow, or distress (the feelings, heart, etc.).
  4. to split (wood) radially from a log.

verb (used without object), rived, rived or riv·en, riv·ing.

  1. to become rent or split apart: stones that rive easily.

verb rives, riving, rived, rived or riven (ˈrɪvən) (usually passive)

  1. to split asundera tree riven by lightning
  2. to tear apartriven to shreds
  3. archaic to break (the heart) or (of the heart) to be broken

“split, cloven, rent,” c.1300, past participle adjective from rive “to tear, rend.”


“tear in pieces, strike asunder,” c.1200, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rifa “to tear apart” (cf. Swedish rifva, Danish rive “scratch, tear”), from PIE root *rei- “to scratch, tear, cut” (see riparian).

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