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.
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).
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.
- ri·ot·er, noun
- an·ti·ri·ot, adjective, noun
- coun·ter·ri·ot·er, noun
- non·ri·ot·er, noun
- non·ri·ot·ing, adjective
- un·ri·ot·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use riot in a sentence
When I cracked open the door for a peak, all I saw was a riot of fur.How to hunt for star-nosed moles (and their holes) | Kenneth Catania | September 15, 2020 | Popular-Science
If a messy election aftermath involves the deployment of federal personnel to put down riots or stop ballot counts, there’s a decent chance that a judge somewhere will pull the emergency brake.
I made a version of this argument in 2015, arguing that riots in the ’60s and ’90s ultimately led to necessary changes in policing, even if the changes didn’t go far enough.
The best study I’ve seen on the broader national reaction to protests demonstrates that riots in the past backfired.
There are other studies suggesting that, at least in limited circumstances, riots have helped some causes.
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.
We stood outside the Old City in the neighborhood of Silwan, where some of the recent rioting has taken place.
And, whereas the townspeople start rioting and attacking the chain-smoking cult the Guilty Remnant, Nora is at peace.Carrie Coon on ‘The Leftovers,’ That Wild Finale, Her Apocalyptic Visions, and ‘Gone Girl’ | Marlow Stern | September 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Rioting, as an established social custom, disappeared in most of the places where it had formerly been so much practised.The Eve of the Revolution | Carl Becker
After much rioting and corruption, Mahone's political machine finally lost control of the state in 1883.Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia | Dorothy M. Torpey
This rioting was carried to such an extent that it was found necessary to apply for soldiers to protect the Beadles.The Diary of a Resurrectionist, 1811-1812 | James Blake Bailey
The price of bread was high, and during the early part of the year there were many strikes and much rioting, especially in London.The Political History of England - Vol. X. | William Hunt
You may have to fire into rioting crowds, but be careful about shooting recklessly or needlessly into groups.Uncle Sam's Boys as Lieutenants | H. Irving Hancock
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
boisterous activity; unrestrained revelry
an occasion of boisterous merriment
slang a person who occasions boisterous merriment
a dazzling or arresting display: a riot of colour
hunting the indiscriminate following of any scent by hounds
archaic wanton lasciviousness
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 living: he has rioted away his life
- rioter, noun
- rioting, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with riot
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.