ram·​pant | \ˈram-pənt also -ˌpant \

Definition of rampant 

1a : rearing upon the hind legs with forelegs extended

b : standing on one hind foot with one foreleg raised above the other and the head in profile used of a heraldic animal

2a : marked by a menacing wildness, extravagance, or absence of restraint rampant rumors

b : profusely widespread rampant weeds

Illustration of rampant

Illustration of rampant

rampant 1b: a lion rampant

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rampant

rampantly adverb

Examples of rampant in a Sentence

a weed that's rampant in this area the mayor promised to put a stop to the rampant crime that plagued the city

Recent Examples on the Web

Though people still mostly drive, the unveiling of a new, free cable car in 2016, along with the rampant popularity of Bird, a scooter-sharing program, suggests that that may soon change. Marley Marius, Vogue, "A Guide to Kansas City, Missouri: Its History, Its Culture, and Why It’s Worth a Closer Look," 23 Nov. 2018 The reports point to a perfect storm of sorts that's fueling rampant infections. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "E-commerce site is infected not by one, but two card skimmers," 20 Nov. 2018 Simply put, Joan was fed up with the rampant sexism of the early 1970s. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "What Christina Hendricks Really Thinks of That Iconic Mad Men "Burn This Down" Gif," 18 Oct. 2018 And yet misconceptions about miscarriage remain rampant. Natalie Lampert, Marie Claire, "Why Women Reeling From Miscarriage Are Turning to the Web," 1 Oct. 2018 Of course, that isn't stopping fans from running rampant with this theory. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Twitter Already Has a Theory About That Flash-Forward Scene on This Is Us," 26 Sep. 2018 Privatisation could increase already-rampant corruption even further. The Economist, "Is North Korea the next Vietnam? Don’t count on it," 12 July 2018 The mountain, a source of traditional creation stories, is under severe pressure from the rampant, corruption-fueled deforestation across Mozambique that supplies a foreign market, primarily China. Washington Post, "Coffee and conservation: Mozambique tries both on a mountain," 11 July 2018 But like perennial rivals Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Baidu Inc. and Netease Inc., Tencent has to contend with the rampant piracy that’s eroding the industry’s profits. Carol Zhong And Bob Van Voris, latimes.com, "Tencent streaming spinoff to list shares in U.S. amid music industry comeback," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rampant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rampant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rampant

Middle English, from Anglo-French, present participle of ramper

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rampant

Dictionary Entries near rampant








Statistics for rampant

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rampant

The first known use of rampant was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rampant



English Language Learners Definition of rampant

—used to describe something that is very common or that is spreading very quickly and in a way that is difficult to control

: growing quickly and in a way that is difficult to control


ram·​pant | \ˈram-pənt \

Kids Definition of rampant

: existing or growing greatly and quickly Fear was rampant in the town.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rampant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rampant

Spanish Central: Translation of rampant

Nglish: Translation of rampant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rampant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rampant

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


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!