a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons, as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy, etc., in the streets.
Law. a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes.
violent or wild disorder or confusion.
a brilliant display:
a riot of color.
something or someone hilariously funny:
You were a riot at the party.
an unbridled outbreak, as of emotions, passions, etc.
Archaic. loose, wanton living; profligacy.
to take part in a riot or disorderly public outbreak.
to live in a loose or wanton manner; indulge in unrestrained revelry:
Many of the Roman emperors rioted notoriously.
Hunting. (of a hound or pack) to pursue an animal other than the intended quarry.
to indulge unrestrainedly; run riot.
to spend (money, time, etc.) in living (usually followed by away or out).
to act without control or restraint:
The neighbors let their children run riot.
to grow luxuriantly or abundantly:
Crab grass is running riot in our lawn.
The scene is a riot of excess, soaring voice decibels—and precious.
Eight Years After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Has Been Resurrected Jason Berry August 28, 2013
The mob flipped over a news van, tore down two lampposts, and threw rocks and cans; police responded with riot gear and tear gas.
Penn State Loses First Paterno-Less Game November 11, 2011
Surging crowds of demonstrators faced off with riot police along a heavily guarded street.
Tahrir Square’s Original Activists Wonder If Arab Spring Over as Protests Change Mike Giglio September 13, 2012
Millions are expected to turn out across the country, and clashes between demonstrators and riot police seem inevitable.
Egypt Braces For a Fight Mike Giglio June 27, 2013
They made one last charge for the airport, and when the riot police blocked them again a melee ensued.
Mexican Protesters Look to Start a New Revolution Jason McGahan November 20, 2014
riot and disorder too often characterized the events of that season.
A Clerk of Oxford Evelyn Everett-Green
The riot had now changed into open mutiny among these marshmen and miners.
Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
I had cast off all feeling, subdued all anguish to riot in the excess of my despair.
Frankenstein Mary Shelley
There was a riot in the streets; in one house the poison cup was ready.
Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
Then ensued a scene of riot and carnage such as no human pen, or steel one either, could describe.
Sketches New and Old, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
a disturbance made by an unruly mob or (in law) three or more persons; tumult or uproar
(as modifier): a riot gun, riot police, a riot shield
boisterous activity; unrestrained revelry
an occasion of boisterous merriment
(slang) a person who occasions boisterous merriment
a dazzling or arresting display: a riot of colour
(hunting) the indiscriminate following of any scent by hounds
(archaic) wanton lasciviousness
to behave wildly and without restraint
(of plants) to grow rankly or profusely
(intransitive) to take part in a riot
(intransitive) to indulge in unrestrained revelry or merriment
(transitive) foll by away. to spend (time or money) in wanton or loose living: he has rioted away his life
c.1200, “debauchery, extravagance, wanton living,” from Old French riote (12c.) “dispute, quarrel, (tedious) talk, chattering, argument, domestic strife,” also a euphemism for “sexual intercourse,” of uncertain origin. Cf. Medieval Latin riota “quarrel, dispute, uproar, riot.” Perhaps from Latin rugire “to roar.” Meaning “public disturbance” is first recorded late 14c. Meaning “something spectacularly successful” first recorded 1909 in theater slang.
Run riot is first recorded 1520s, a metaphoric extension from Middle English meaning in reference to hounds following the wrong scent. The Riot Act, part of which must be read to a mob before active measures can be taken, was passed 1714 (1 Geo. I, st.2, c.5). Riot girl and alternative form riot grrl first recorded 1992.
late 14c., “behave in a dissolute manner, engage in loose revelry,” from Old French rioter “chatter, dispute, quarrel,” from riote (see riot (n.)). Meaning “take part in a public disturbance” is from 1755. Related: Rioted; rioting.
read the riot act
run amok (riot)
an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other . a system or collection of religious or other . observance of set forms in public worship. a book of or ceremonies. a book containing the offices to be used by priests in administering the sacraments and for visitation of the sick, burial of the […]
adherence to or insistence on . the study of practices or religious rites. excessive fondness for . Historical Examples Another proof of how the spirit of ritualism tends to absorb morality. The Expositor’s Bible: The Book of the Twelve Prophets, Vol. I George Adam Smith He was also an earnest religious man, and strongly opposed […]
a student of or authority on ritual practices or religious rites. a person who practices or advocates observance of ritual, as in religious services. (initial capital letter) Anglican Church. a person who supports High Church principles. a supporter of the Oxford movement. Historical Examples What an answer is here to the monk, the ascetic, and […]
the act, the practice, or an instance of . Law. the felonious taking of the property of another from his or her person or in his or her immediate presence, against his or her will, by violence or intimidation. Contemporary Examples There is no such charge as Murder of a Good Person or robbery of […]