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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: What It Is. With All the Kindes, Cavses, Symptomes, Prognosticks, and Seuerall Cvres of It. In Three Maine Partitions, with Their Seuerall Sections, Members, and Svbsections. Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, by Democritvs Iunior, with a Satyricall Preface, Conducing to the Following Discourse, 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.