riverriv‧er /ˈrɪvə $ -ər/ ●●●S2W2 noun [countable]1SGa natural and continuousflow of water in a long line across a country into the sea → streamthe Mississippi Riverthe River Thameson a riverThere were several boats on the river.along a riverWe went for a walk along the river.up/down (a) rivera ship sailing up riverThey drifted slowly down river.across a rivera bridge across the river2LIQUIDa large amount of moving liquidriver ofa river of hot lava flowing from the volcano → sell somebody down the riverat sell1GRAMMAR: Patterns with riverin the river• You use in the river to talk about things that happen in the water: In summer we swim in the river.There was something floating in the river.on the river• You use on the river to talk about things that happen on the surface of a river or very close to the edge of a river: We went boating on the river.There’s a nice pub on the river.along the river• You use along the river to talk about things that happen on land next to a river: They strolled along the river.There are houses built all along the river.USAGE: Word order with names of rivers• In Britain and Europe, the name usually comes after the word ‘river’. You usually say: the River Thames, the River Seine, the River Rhone, the River Nile, the River Ganges.• In the US and outside Europe, the name usually comes before the word ‘river’. You usually say: the Yangtze River, the Amazon River, the Congo River, the Hudson River, the Mississippi River, the Colorado River.COLLOCATIONSverbsa river flowsThe River Avon flows through the town of Stratford.a river runs (=it flows in a particular direction)the place where the river runs into the seaa river winds (=it turns and curves, rather than going in a straight line)He could see the river winding across the plain.a river floodsThere are fears that the river could flood.a river dries upFurther downstream the river has dried up completely several times in recent years. a river narrows (=it becomes narrower)The river narrows at this point.a river rises somewhere formal (=it starts there)The River Euphrates rises in Turkey and flows through Syria.cross a riverCross the river by the road bridge and then turn right.ford a river (=cross a river on foot, in a vehicle, or on a horse, without using a bridge)The water was shallow enough for us to be able to ford the river. navigate a river (=travel along a river in a boat)The narrow cliffs once made the river dangerous to navigate. adjectiveswide/broadWe crossed the wide River Rhone the following morning.longThe Severn is the longest river in Britain.swollen/high (=containing more water than usual)After the rains, the river was swollen.The river was high and running quite swiftly.fast-flowingThe child fell into a fast-flowing river.a mighty river (=very big and impressive)Cairo sits at the mouth of the mighty river Nile.a river is navigable (=people are able to travel along it in a boat)The river is navigable in the winter months.river + NOUNthe river bankCrowds lined the river banks to watch the boat race.a river bed (=the bottom of a river)They walked along a dry river bed.a river valleyThey came to a wide river valley.phrasesthe banks of a river (=the land near a river)He bought a house on the banks of the River Wye.the mouth of a river (=where it joins the sea)The Statue of Liberty stands at the mouth of the Hudson River.the source of a river (=the place where it starts)Where exactly is the source of the River Ganges?the upper/lower etc reaches of a river (=the upper, lower etc parts)We sailed down the lower reaches of the river.a bend in a riverHe rounded a bend in the river and saw Flora sitting there.a river is in spate British English (=it is very full and the water is flowing very quickly)The snow had just melted and the rivers were in spate.THESAURUSriver a line of water that flows into the seaThey crossed the river by ferry.the River Tweedthe Yangtze rivertributary a stream or river that flows into a larger riverThe River Trombetas is a tributary of the River Amazon.estuary the wide part of a river where it goes into the seaplans to build a big new airport on the Thames estuarycanal a long passagedug into the ground and filled with water, either for boats to travel along, or to take water to a placeVenice’s famous canalsa canal boatdelta an area of lowland where a river spreads into many smaller rivers near the seathe Nile deltaa small riverstream a small narrow rivera cool mountain streambrook literary a small streamThere was a small brook, rushing and sparkling along between green banks.creek a narrow area of sea that goes into the land, or a small riverThe River Fal with its many creeks was a perfect place for smugglers.The kids hunted for crabs in the muddy creek.parts of a rivermouth the part of a river where it joins the seaHavre-Marat was a port at the mouth of the River Seine.bank land along the side of a riverthe river bankHe owns a chateau on the banks of the River Loire.source the place where a river or stream startsThe source of the River Nile was discovered by a British explorer, John Speke.