A small stream; streamlet; brook
Origin: 1580-90; earlier rivolet < Italian rivoletto, diminutive of rivolo < Latin rivulus (small stream); French rivulet; English “riveret”
- Rivulets of rain gliding down the window pane
- Ivory creamer cascading in rivulets to the bottom of a clear mug of ebony coffee
- She cried in small rivulets down her cheeks
- A blue rivulet in the forest that (when he left his feet in the water) hugged his toes for in consolation for something unknown
I am fascinated by this word today because “rivulet” sounds like its definition: the “r” is a rounded consonant that emulates the curled head of a wave of water, and the following “-iv-u-let” has three bouncing syllables that sound like that wavering wake of a rush of liquid, curling again with the “l” in the final syllable. When I hear this word, my mind’s eye sees lolling, gentle streams of water for me, which is calming. I also like to say this word out loud to feel it on my lips.
(Definition courtesy of Dictionary.com)