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rivet (n.)

c. 1300, "cinch on a nail;" c. 1400, "short metal pin or bolt inserted through a hole at the junction of two or more metal pieces," the point then hammered broad to hold them together; from Old French rivet "nail, rivet," from river "to clench, fix, fasten," which is of uncertain origin; possibly from Middle Dutch wriven "turn, grind," and thus related to rive (v.). Or the English word might be directly from Middle Dutch.

rivet (v.)

early 15c., riveten, "to fasten (something) with rivets," also "to fasten (a nail or bolt) by hammering down the rivet," from rivet (n.). Figurative meaning "to command the attention" is from c. 1600 (For I mine eyes will rivet to his Face - "Hamlet"). Related: Riveted; riveting.

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Definitions of rivet from WordNet
1
rivet (v.)
direct one's attention on something;
Synonyms: concentrate / focus / center / centre / pore
rivet (v.)
fasten with a rivet or rivets;
rivet (v.)
hold (someone's attention);
The discovery of the skull riveted the paleontologists
2
rivet (n.)
ornament consisting of a circular rounded protuberance (as on a vault or shield or belt);
Synonyms: stud
rivet (n.)
heavy pin having a head at one end and the other end being hammered flat after being passed through holes in the pieces that are fastened together;
From wordnet.princeton.edu