Legal Definition and Related Resources of River

Meaning of River

A large stream of water flowing in a channel on land toward the ocean, lake or other river; a body of flowing water of no specific dimension, larger than a brook or rivelet, between banks or walls. state of Alabama v State of Georgia, 64 U.S. 505, 16 L.Ed. 556. It consists of bed, bank and stream of water.

River Alternative Definition

A natural stream of water flowing betwixt banks or walls in a bed of considerable depth and width, being so called whether its current sets always one way, or flows and reflows with the tide. Woolr. Waters, 40; 16 N. H. 467. In Old Law. Rivers were either public or private. Public rivers are divided into “navigable” and “not navigable;” the distinction being that the former flow and reflow with the tide, while the latter do not. Both are “navigable” in the popular sense of the term. Angell, Tide Waters, 74, 76; 7 Pet. (U. S.) 324; 5 Pick. (Mass.) 199; 26 Wend. (N. Y.) 404; 4 Barn. & C. 602; 5 Taunt. 705. Rivers, when naturally unfit for public use, as above described, are called “private rivers.” They are the private property of the riparian proprietors, and cannot be appropriated to public use, as highways, by deepening or improving their channels, without compensation to their owners. 16 Ohio, 540; 26 Wend. (N. Y.) 404; 6 Barb. (N. Y.) 265; 18 Barb. (N. Y.) 277; 8 Pa. St. 379; 10 Me. 278; 1 McCord (S. C.) 580. And see “Watercourse.” In Modern Use. Rivers are ordinarily classified as navigable or nonnavigable, according to the fact, and not according to the flow of the tide, and the distinction between public and private rivers is accordingly obsolete. See “Navigable.”

Related Entries of River in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for River in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

River in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for River in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing River in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Accretion, Avulsion, Basin, Channel, Derelict, Dereliction, Eminent Domain, Ferry, Frontager, Levee, , Macadam, Monopoly, Process, Public Funds, Require, Riparian, Riparian Owner, Strand, Thoroughfare, Tonnage Duty, Trespass.


You might be interested in these references tools:

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River in the Dictionary River in our legal dictionaries
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Related topics River in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of River is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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https://legaldictionary.lawin.org/river/ The URI of River (more about URIs)


Legal English Vocabulary: River in Spanish

Online translation of the English legal term river into Spanish: río (English to Spanish translation) . More about legal dictionary from english to spanish online.

Related to the Legal Thesaurus


See Also

  • International Environmental Law
  • Environmental Law Violations
  • Clean Air
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Policy
  • Pollution




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