- 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.
- unrestrained revelry.
- 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 riotous living (usually followed by away or out).
- run riot,
- 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.
Origin of riot
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rioting
But burning, rioting, and looting are disgraceful—and they make for real-life victims we somehow never hear about.
Rioting and looting ensued shortly after the verdict and racial tensions were tense across the United States for years to follow.
Rioting, shoplifting, and violent confrontation with the police took place shortly thereafter.
“In the early morning hours I arrived at the scene of rioting,” he told the YNet news wire.Israelis and Arabs Shaken by the Aftershock of Teen Murders
July 7, 2014
Also this week, 17 students were handed 14-year prison sentences for rioting.Egypt: The Revolution’s Last Stand
March 23, 2014
The zinc-worker decided, just for the fun of it, to go into the city and watch the rioting.L'Assommoir
Touching their drunkenness and the trifle of rioting, what soldiers have not these faults?Love-at-Arms
It gave us the necessary information about the way in which rioting was to be stopped.The Red Hand of Ulster
George A. Birmingham
The roughs at the Beaver had tried the game of rioting with the wrong men.Policing the Plains
Before dark the rioting was general, and barricades were going up.Memoirs
Charles Godfrey Leland
- 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 displaya riot of colour
- hunting the indiscriminate following of any scent by hounds
- archaic wanton lasciviousness
- run riot
- to behave wildly and without restraint
- (of plants) to grow rankly or profusely
- (intr) to take part in a riot
- (intr) to indulge in unrestrained revelry or merriment
- (tr foll by away) to spend (time or money) in wanton or loose livinghe has rioted away his life
Word Origin and History for rioting
1590s, "dissoluteness," verbal noun from riot (v.). Earlier was riotry (early 14c.). Meaning "continuous public disturbance" is from 1832.
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.