verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- 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
Synonyms for riot
Related Words for riotturmoil, disturbance, brawl, strife, uproar, protest, storm, turbulence, lawlessness, trouble, anarchy, panic, rampage, burst, ruckus, scene, hassle, racket, free-for-all, flap
Examples from the Web for riot
Contemporary Examples of riot
They made one last charge for the airport, and when the riot police blocked them again a melee ensued.
Riot police eventually converged from the flanks, hundreds at first, then hundreds more, with shields and batons.
The riot police advanced on the crowd and the crowd gave some ground but did not retreat.
A battalion of riot police armed with shotguns arrived on the scene.Honoring The Late John Doar, A Nearly Forgotten Hero Of The Civil Rights Era
November 15, 2014
When the vote was announced and people were informed that MPs had voted against gay equality, there was a riot.The Queer Genius of Film Director Derek Jarman
November 1, 2014
Historical Examples of riot
The riot had now changed into open mutiny among these marshmen and miners.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
This man was Hugh; and in every part of the riot, he was seen.Barnaby Rudge
There was a riot in the streets; in one house the poison cup was ready.Things as They Are
I believe you'd raise a riot in the cemetry if you were dead, you would.The Universal Reciter
It were blasphemy to call this riot the desire for progress for the masses.Blood and Iron
John Hubert Greusel
- 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
- to behave wildly and without restraint
- (of plants) to grow rankly or profusely
Word Origin for riot
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.
see read the riot act; run amok (riot).