verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to spend (money, time, etc.) in riotous living (usually followed by away or out).

Nearby words

  1. rioja,
  2. riolan's anastomosis,
  3. riomaggiore,
  4. rion strait,
  5. riopelle,
  6. riot act,
  7. riot gun,
  8. riot shield,
  9. riot squad,
  10. rioter


    run riot,
    1. to act without control or restraint: The neighbors let their children run riot.
    2. to grow luxuriantly or abundantly: Crab grass is running riot in our lawn.

Origin of riot

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English: debauchery, revel, violent disturbance < Old French riot(e) debate, dispute, quarrel, derivative of rihoter, riot(t)er to quarrel; (v.) Middle English rioten < Old French rihoter, riot(t)er

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rioter

British Dictionary definitions for rioter



  1. a disturbance made by an unruly mob or (in law) three or more persons; tumult or uproar
  2. (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
  1. to behave wildly and without restraint
  2. (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
Derived Formsrioter, nounrioting, noun

Word Origin for riot

C13: from Old French riote dispute, from ruihoter to quarrel, probably from ruir to make a commotion, from Latin rugīre to roar

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 rioter
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with rioter


see read the riot act; run amok (riot).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.