[rahy-uh-tuh s]


(of an act) characterized by or of the nature of rioting or a disturbance of the peace.
(of a person) inciting or taking part in a riot.
given to or marked by unrestrained revelry; loose; wanton: riotous living.
boisterous or uproarious: riotous laughter.
hilariously funny.

Origin of riotous

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at riot, -ous
Related formsri·ot·ous·ly, adverbri·ot·ous·ness, nounun·ri·ot·ous, adjectiveun·ri·ot·ous·ly, adverbun·ri·ot·ous·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for riotous

Contemporary Examples of riotous

Historical Examples of riotous

  • The cross was among them the punishment for riotous slaves or their instigators.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • You can't have wasted very much in riotous living on this sand-heap.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Blackberry shrub, to their minds, was the medium of riotous dissipation.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • Hemming plunged into an orgie of riotous living when you refused him.

    The Golden Woman

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Query, Is this not encouraging the Inhabitants in their licentious and riotous disposition?

British Dictionary definitions for riotous



proceeding from or of the nature of riots or rioting
inciting to riot
characterized by wanton or lascivious revelryriotous living
characterized by boisterous or unrestrained merrimentriotous laughter
Derived Formsriotously, adverbriotousness, 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

Word Origin and History for riotous

mid-14c., "troublesome, wanton, extravagant," from Old French riotos "argumentative, quarrelsome," from riote (see riot (n.)). Meaning "tumultuous, turbulent" is mid-15c. Related: Riotously; riotousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper