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[ram-puh nt] /ˈræm pənt/
violent in action or spirit; raging; furious:
a rampant leopard.
growing luxuriantly, as weeds.
in full sway; prevailing or unchecked:
a rampant rumor.
(of an animal) standing on the hind legs; ramping.
Heraldry. (of a beast used as a charge) represented in profile facing the dexter side, with the body upraised and resting on the left hind leg, the tail and other legs elevated, the right foreleg highest, and the head in profile unless otherwise specified:
a lion rampant.
Architecture. (of an arch or vault) springing at one side from one level of support and resting at the other on a higher level.
Origin of rampant
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French, present participle of ramper to ramp1
Related forms
rampantly, adverb
3. rife, widespread, unrestrained. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rampant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Newly facing the evil of the world, she was a rampant reformer at once.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • When the brick-house era sets in, the middleman will be rampant.

  • And yet the seeds of it must be in your heart, or it could not all at once shew itself so rampant.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Heterodoxy in details of faith is rampant, and is no obstacle to Christian fellowship.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • Credit is woefully inflated; speculation and waste are rampant.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
British Dictionary definitions for rampant


unrestrained or violent in behaviour, desire, opinions, etc
growing or developing unchecked
(postpositive) (heraldry) (of a beast) standing on the hind legs, the right foreleg raised above the left
(of an arch) having one abutment higher than the other
Derived Forms
rampancy, noun
rampantly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French ramper to crawl, rear; see ramp
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rampant

late 14c., "standing on the hind legs" (as a heraldic lion often does), thus, also, "fierce, ravenous" (late 14c.), from Old French rampant, present participle of ramper "to climb, scale, mount" (see rampage (v.)). Sense of "growing without check" (in running rampant), first recorded 1610s, probably is via the notion of "fierce disposition" or else preserves the older French sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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