Idioms about 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
OTHER WORDS FROM riot
Words nearby riot
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does riot mean?
A riot is a situation in which people in a crowd are engaging in violence and/or destruction in the streets or another public space.
Riots often involve two or more groups fighting, or one group causing destruction.
Riot can also be used as a verb meaning to participate in a riot. Members of the crowd who do this can be called rioters. The word rioting can be used as both a verb and a noun.
Violent protests are sometimes called riots. But the term riot is often extremely loaded and used in a way that’s intended to be dismissive of protests and portray protesters as lawless, destructive, or violent. Specifically, the term has been frequently used to portray African American protesters in this way, such as during mass demonstrations. For example, one may try to discredit a protest by calling it a riot or to discredit protesters by calling them rioters. This especially happens when people conflate a protest with other things happening around it, such as looting.
The word riot is also used in a much different way to refer to something very funny, especially in the phrase laugh riot. The term implies that it results in intense, unrestrained laughter.
Example: The riot outside the stadium left dozens of people injured, along with widespread damage to cars in the parking lot.
Where does riot come from?
The first records of the word riot come from around 1200. In Middle English, the word was used to mean “debauchery,” “revel,” or “violent disturbance.” It comes from the French riote, which means “debate” or “dispute” and derives from the Old French rihoter “to quarrel.” Riot may ultimately derive from the Latin rugīre, “to roar.”
Riots are not peaceful. Situations accurately described as riots always involve some form of violence or destruction—especially a chaotic scene in which people are fighting and things are being broken. Using the word almost always implies a criticism of the people participating.
A protest might be called a riot if it turns violent. But sometimes it may be called a riot simply by those who don’t agree with the protest, regardless of whether it’s violent or not. The word’s history is full of examples of it being used in a way that unfairly portrays protesters as criminals in order to dismiss and distract from the cause they’re demonstrating for.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to riot?
- riotous (adjective)
- rioter (noun)
- rioting (continuous tense verb, noun)
- counterrioter (noun)
- nonrioter (noun)
- antiriot (adjective, noun)
What are some synonyms for riot?
What are some words that share a root or word element with riot?
What are some words that often get used in discussing riot?
How is riot used in real life?
Riot is usually used in a negative way in criticisms of such situations, but this isn’t always the case.
“A riot is the language of the unheard.”
My father was telling us to hear.
He was beckoning us to do justice.
He was provoking us to true peace.
A call to conscience. pic.twitter.com/sehI6CYtZB
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) June 3, 2020
The protest today was very peaceful btw. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that it was a riot
— kemosabe (@keemypit) June 9, 2020
And in case you haven't heard of it, there was this little thing called the Warsaw Uprising.
It was a riot, a revolt, led by Jews against their oppressors. They killed 150 German soldiers, and 13,000 Jews died in the revolt.
Pictured here: arrested Jewish resistance fighters. pic.twitter.com/FzowF80dRx
— Elad Nehorai (@PopChassid) June 9, 2020
How to use riot in a sentence
The officers are hard to identify because they’re wearing riot gear, but Rojas later confirmed in court documents that he arrested Ramirez.Officers Who Wrote Multiple Seditious Language Tickets Have Been Accused of Other Violations|Kara Grant|October 14, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Look at the impeachment, the Kavanaugh hearing, the protests that turned into riots that turned into autonomous zones where people got shot.Undecided Voters Weigh In: “I Honestly Don’t Know”|Nick Fouriezos|October 14, 2020|Ozy
The vice president then segued to attacking the riots and violence that broke out in some cities amid otherwise peaceful protests against racial injustice.Vice presidential debate: Highlights and fact-checks|Colby Itkowitz, Anne Gearan, Matt Viser, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner|October 8, 2020|Washington Post
So when they both read him the riot act in this episode, and then Emily follows it up with the world’s most chilling, “Go home, Christopher,” it’s immensely satisfying.Every episode of Gilmore Girls, ranked|Constance Grady|October 6, 2020|Vox
It predicted the imminent arrest of Hillary Clinton and warned of “massive riots.”As QAnon grew, Facebook and Twitter missed years of warning signs about the conspiracy theory’s violent nature|Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin|October 1, 2020|Washington Post
They made one last charge for the airport, and when the riot police blocked them again a melee ensued.
And this is the prevailing attitude that white St. Louis fears the most: an all out riot, anarchy, lawlessness, disorder.Ferguson Tensions in Black and White|Seth Ferranti|November 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Gary May|November 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The exertions of the city authorities, who had notice of the meditated riot, were unable to prevent or quell it.
Monsieur de Tressan was here, as ill-luck would have it, and Gaubert implored him to send soldiers thither to quell the riot.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
A special assistant of the United States marshal was killed, but the object of the riot was not effected.
Seven months later Captain Preston and other soldiers implicated in the riot were tried before a Boston jury.The Eve of the Revolution|Carl Becker
The Italian ecclesiastic Gavazzi, lectured at Quebec, and gave rise to a riot.
British Dictionary definitions for riot
- 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
Derived forms of riotrioter, nounrioting, noun
Word Origin for riot
Other Idioms and Phrases with riot
see read the riot act; run amok (riot).