Noun > Rivulet

Noun – Rivulet

Like it sounds, a rivulet is a little river, or anything that reminds you of a little river because it seems to flow, trickle, or wind through something.

RIV yuh lut

Part of speech:
Noun, the countable kind: “a rivulet of raindrops,” “these muddy rivulets.”

Other forms:
Just the plural: “rivulets.”

How to use it:
This word is poetic, graceful, and easily understood. It’s an interesting alternative to “stream” and “trickle.”

We often use it literally. “Rain dotted the windshield, then formed rivulets.” “Water from the sprinkler pooled into rivulets and flowed down the muddy hill.” Although rivulets are often made of water, they can be made of anything liquid or semi-liquid–tears, blood, sweat, oil, paint, soda, pudding, gravy, etc. But like I mentioned above, you might want to avoid the overused phrases rivulets of blood” and rivulets of sweat.”

If you’re being figurative, rivulets can be made of solids, gases, blank spaces, etc. “A rivulet of white winds its way across the painting.”

You can even talk about rivulets of thought, knowledge, feelings, themes, etc., especially those that flow from, away from, outward from, to, or into larger “rivers” of thought, knowledge, and so on.

“For one frantic, exhilarating, exhausting September minute, I impersonated an Oregon winemaker. With a newfound friend’s arms bracing me, and my wife and daughter madly clearing stems and gathering fruit below, my stomping feet released a purple rivulet of grape juice.”
— Alex Pulaski, The Washington Post, 24 August 2018

“The stream of newcomers is now but a tiny rivulet; but, when each proclaims to his friends his success in the land of his adoption, that rivulet will swell to a mighty river.”
— Anthony J. Cumming, Our First Half-Century: A Review of Queensland Progress, 1909