riot

noun
ri·ot | \ˈrī-ət \

Definition of riot 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic

a : profligate behavior : debauchery

b : unrestrained revelry

c : noise, uproar, or disturbance made by revelers

2a : public violence, tumult, or disorder

b : a violent public disorder specifically : a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent

3 : a random or disorderly profusion the woods were a riot of color

4 : one that is wildly amusing the new comedy is a riot

riot

verb
rioted; rioting; riots

Definition of riot (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to indulge in revelry or wantonness

2 : to create or engage in a riot

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Other Words from riot

Verb

rioter noun

Synonyms for riot

Synonyms: Noun

hoot, laugh, scream

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Examples of riot in a Sentence

Noun

The news about the election caused a riot in the city. A lot of property was damaged in the recent riots. The woods are a riot of color in the autumn. The movie was an absolute riot.

Verb

Students rioted after their team lost the football game.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

South Korean riot police break up a protest in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, near the U.S. military facility Camp Humphreys, on May 4, 2006. Time, "Inside Camp Humphreys, South Korea: America's Largest Overseas Military Base," 13 July 2018 That, and the scores of riot police stationed outside the old stock exchange where the show was held, kept protestors away this go round. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Fendi Embraces Faux Over Fur in Paris Couture Show," 5 July 2018 On Tuesday, witnesses described a noticeable presence of riot police on the capital’s streets. Jon Gambrell, The Seattle Times, "Protests in Iran as Rouhani says US wants ‘economic war’," 26 June 2018 The June 10 protests were in large part peaceful, but turned violent in central Binh Thuan province, where vehicles were set ablaze and angry mobs hurled rocks and charged at riot police. Martin Petty, The Christian Science Monitor, "China's reach fuels illegal protests in Vietnam," 19 June 2018 On the one side, Sergeant Galik, the sergeant in charge of the park’s mounted unit, backed up by plainclothes officers and several carloads of Tactical Squad officers, also known as riot police. Johnny Miller, San Francisco Chronicle, "Rockers rebuffed over RFK wake," 6 June 2018 While the protests remained largely peaceful, there were some reports of violence, as riot police and security officials clashed with some of the protesters and deployed tear gas . Marilia Brocchetto, CNN, "Hundreds protest in Jordan against austerity measures," 3 June 2018 Within minutes, riot police had (yet again) detained Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader who organised the protest, while the Cossacks and the police hit unarmed protesters. The Economist, "Fresh challenges for Vladimir Putin in his supposedly final term," 10 May 2018 Protesters packed Pushkin Square in the center of the city nevertheless, and they were met by columns of riot police who charged into the crowd to try to disperse it. Amie Ferris-rotman, Anton Troianovski, Philly.com, "Russian police detain more than 1,300 protesting against Putin," 5 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many others physically assaulted their captors, rioted, and burned their sites of detention to the ground. Scott Stern, Teen Vogue, "How Capitalism Helped to Fuel the Mass Incarceration of Women," 25 June 2018 Hundreds of South African soccer fans disgruntled at the performance of their team rioted at a game on Saturday night. Gerald Imray, chicagotribune.com, "Hundreds of South African soccer fans riot at game," 22 Apr. 2018 Anger among residents there eventually erupted in the mid-1990s when thousands rioted on the largest island of French Polynesia, Tahiti, after a temporary stop on French tests was reversed. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Shutting down North Korea’s test site is not as easy as it looks. Ask France, Britain and the U.S.," 24 May 2018 Then in 2017, mobs at Berkeley and Middlebury rioted against provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and social scientist Charles Murray. Emily Esfahani Smith, WSJ, "A Movement Rises to Take Back Higher Education," 17 June 2018 Seen through this lens, 50 years after rioting left large portions of the city in ruin, the District is a great success story. Anthony A. Williams, Washington Post, "Washington has come far in 50 years, but is there a way to make it work for everyone?," 27 Mar. 2018 Ghana gave my Bay Area eyes, squinting into a bright blue sky, a whole new palette, a landscape and architecture and people in clothes and rioted textures and colors. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Old In Art School," 20 June 2018 Pownall learned months later that the injured man was Rennie Davis, another Yippie and one of eight protest organizers, including Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, who would be tried for incitement to riot in the infamous Chicago Seven trial of 1969. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Whatever happened to those radical boomer activists from the ’60s and ’70s?," 6 June 2018 Morin had already dismissed the conspiracy to riot charge against the three on Thursday. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, "Prosecutors dismiss three additional cases in Inauguration Day riots," 2 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of riot

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for riot

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French riote rash action, noise, disorder

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Statistics for riot

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for riot

The first known use of riot was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for riot

riot

noun

English Language Learners Definition of riot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a situation in which a large group of people behave in a violent and uncontrolled way

: a place that is filled with something

: someone or something that is very funny

riot

verb

English Language Learners Definition of riot (Entry 2 of 2)

of a group of people : to behave in a violent and uncontrolled way

riot

noun
ri·ot | \ˈrī-ət \

Kids Definition of riot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : violent and uncontrolled public behavior by a group of people The news sparked a riot in the city.

2 : a colorful display a riot of wildflowers

3 : someone or something that is very funny The movie was a riot.

riot

verb
rioted; rioting

Kids Definition of riot (Entry 2 of 2)

: to take part in violent and uncontrolled public behavior

riot

noun
ri·ot

Legal Definition of riot 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a disturbance of the peace created by an assemblage of usually three or more people acting with a common purpose and in a violent and tumultuous manner to the terror of the public also : the crime of rioting

Legal Definition of riot (Entry 2 of 2)

: to create or engage in a riot

Other Words from riot

rioter noun

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Comments on riot

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