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From Middle English rivelen, from Old English rifelan, riflian (to wrinkle), from a frequentative form of Old English *ribjōną (to wrap; wind; roll; twist; coil), equivalent to rive +‎ -el (frequentative suffix). Related to Old Norse rifja (to rake (hay) into rows or furrows).



rivel (third-person singular simple present rivels, present participle rivelling, simple past and past participle rivelled)

  1. (intransitive) To shrivel, wrinkle (up).
  2. (transitive) To cause to be wrinkled, to shrivel.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , New York Review of Books, 2001, p.279:
      they crucify the soul of man, attenuate our bodies, dry them, wither them, rivel them up like old apples, make them as so many anatomies []


rivel (plural rivels)

  1. (obsolete) A wrinkle; a rimple.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Holland to this entry?)
  2. (US) A kind of dumpling made from egg and wheat flour, often eaten in soup.