A river is a large natural waterway.
The source of a river may be a lake, a spring, or a collection of small streams, known as headwaters.
From their source, all rivers flow downhill, typically terminating in the ocean.
The mouth, or lower end, of a river is known as its base level.
A river's water is confined to a channel, made up of a stream bed between banks.
Most rainfall on land passes through a river on its way to the ocean.
Smaller side streams that join a river are tributaries.
A river conducts water by constantly flowing perpendicular to the elevation curve of its bed, thereby converting the meander: start to form loops and snake through the plain by eroding the river banks.
Sometimes the river will cut off a loop, shortening the channel and forming an oxbow lake from the cut off section.
Rivers that carry large amounts of sediment develop conspicuous deltas at their mouths.
Rivers whose mouths are in saline tidal waters may form estuaries.