Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

riot act

noun

Definition of riot act

  1. :  a vigorous reprimand or warning —used in the phrase read the riot act



Examples of riot act

  1. <at a specially called meeting, he read the riot act to his staff for their poor handling of the crisis>



Origin of riot act

the Riot Act, English law of 1715 providing for the dispersal of riots upon command of legal authority


First Known Use: 1819


Learn More about riot act


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up riot act? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 16.96 pounds 196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ