[ ram-puhnt ]
/ 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 formsramp·ant·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rampant

British Dictionary definitions for rampant


/ (ˈræmpənt) /


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 Formsrampancy, nounrampantly, adverb

Word Origin for rampant

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

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