Definition of river noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈrɪvə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrɪvər//
    Rivers and lakes
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  1. 1  (abbreviation R.) a natural flow of water that continues in a long line across land to the sea/ocean the River Thames the Hudson River on the banks of the river (= the ground at the side of a river) to travel up/down river (= in the opposite direction to/in the same direction as the way in which the river is flowing) the mouth of the river (= where it enters the sea/ocean) Can we swim in the river? a boat on the river They have a house on the river (= beside it). Wordfinderbend, course, current, dam, downstream, estuary, river, source, tributary, waterfall See related entries: Rivers and lakes
  2. 2river (of something) a large amount of liquid that is flowing in a particular direction Rivers of molten lava flowed down the mountain.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Anglo-Norman French, based on Latin riparius, from ripa ‘bank of a river’.Extra examples He dived into the river. How are we going to get across the river? I had decided to follow the river to my destination. Let’s go down to the river at sunset. The bridge once spanned the river Serein. The river had overflowed its banks. The river has risen with the rains. The river is navigable by vessels of up to 90 tons. The river is still high after the recent rain. The river rises in Bulgaria and flows through Greece to the Aegean. The river rises in central Africa. The river was swollen after the floods. The river was too wide to swim across comfortably. The river winds its way through the hills. The rocks and sandbanks make the river hard to navigate. There was a boat on the river. There’s a bridge across the river. They sailed down the river. They were waiting for us on the other side of the river. They’re dredging the river to make it safer for larger boats. They’ve bridged the river at four points. This river dried up long ago. This river flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Trout live in this river. We crossed the river by boat. We had to swim the river. which is deep and very rapid. We walked along the river. We were sailing up the river. Wildlife groups are protesting against the proposal to dam the river. a river of lava a river town in Borneo as smooth as river rocks major rivers such as the Congo plans to divert the river further north the Ganges and other sacred rivers the mighty River Nile when the river level is low Eventually we came to the mouth of the River Thames. There were a few trees along the river bank. They have a house on the river. They live in a houseboat on the river. the Hudson/​Euphrates RiverIdioms
    sell somebody down the river
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    (informal) to give poor or unfair treatment to somebody you have promised to help From the custom of buying and selling slaves on the plantations on the Mississippi River in America. Slaves who caused trouble for their masters could be sold to plantation owners lower down the river, where conditions would be worse.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: river