riot

noun
ri·​ot | \ ˈrī-ət How to pronounce riot (audio) \

Definition of riot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
b : public violence, tumult, or disorder
2 : a random or disorderly profusion the woods were a riot of color
3 : one that is wildly amusing the new comedy is a riot
4 archaic
a : profligate behavior : debauchery
b : unrestrained revelry
c : noise, uproar, or disturbance made by revelers

riot

verb
rioted; rioting; riots

Definition of riot (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to create or engage in a riot
2 : to indulge in revelry or wantonness

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Other Words from riot

Verb

rioter noun

Synonyms for riot

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Led by Molly Neuman, a former drummer for riot grrrl band Bratmobile, the company credits its growth in part to its growing global reach. Diane Reuvers, Billboard, "Nordic Firms Teosto and Session Lead European Push for Faster Royalty Payments," 12 Feb. 2020 Its faux-riot-grrl moxie still leaves a metallic aftertaste. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Birds of Prey Is a Candy-Colored Joy Ride, But Its Pleasures Ring Hollow," 5 Feb. 2020 Security across the country was tight as there were fears that there would be riots regardless of the court outcome. Rabson Kondowe, Quartz Africa, "Malawi’s constitutional court has annulled its presidential election results seven months later," 3 Feb. 2020 Active duty troops are generally prohibited from law enforcement missions, such as quelling riots or protecting medical facilities. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Could the U.S. Military Help Battle the Coronavirus?," 1 Feb. 2020 Holman has seen a series of violent incidents in recent years, including a riot involving more than 100 prisoners in March 2016 during which an inmate stabbed the then-warden in the head and another officer was stabbed; neither were killed. Connor Sheets | Csheets@al.com, al, "Former Holman guards worry Alabama prison violence will rise in wake of surprise closure," 29 Jan. 2020 But the protests -- which recently escalated to riots -- pressed on. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "After 100 days of rage, Lebanon has a new government — and a deepening crisis," 24 Jan. 2020 In another, the previous week, a riot policeman shoots a rubber bullet into a protester at a range of just 2 metres (2.2 yards). The Economist, "Brutal facts France admits its police are too violent," 23 Jan. 2020 Since the festival came just three months after the fires and riots of Woodstock ’99, on-site camping was not permitted as event organizers Goldenvoice feared something similar would happen. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Travis Scott, Rage Against the Machine and Frank Ocean to Headline Coachella 2020," 2 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After a Turkish airstrike, female detainees connected to the Islamic State rioted in a camp in Ain Issa, lighting their tents on fire and tearing down fences, according to a camp administrator, Jalal al-Iyaf. New York Times, "Abandoned by U.S. in Syria, Kurds Find New Ally in American Foe," 13 Oct. 2019 White residents rioted that night and the following day, killing people and burning property, and the violence didn't stop until the National Guard came in and declared martial law. Fox News, "Searching for Tulsa race riot graves, archaeologists find possible new evidence," 19 Dec. 2019 Crown Heights residents rioted for several days after the boy’s death, smashing Jewish shop windows and vandalizing Jewish homes, identifiable by the mezuzot on their doors. Zachary Evans, National Review, "Anti-Semitism Grows in Brooklyn as Its Roots Remain Misunderstood," 10 Dec. 2019 The most recent brawl happened Aug. 14 at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, south of San Francisco, when 200 inmates rioted. San Diego Union-Tribune, "APNewsBreak: California halts prison gang peacemaking effort," 24 Sep. 2019 While her fellow cellmates rioted in response, fans protested the death as well, getting #PousseyDeservedBetter to trend on Twitter. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "The Most Heartbreaking TV Deaths of the Decade, from Game of Thrones' Robb Stark to Glee's Finn," 18 Dec. 2019 During the vote-counting process, the MDC staged sit-ins in downtown Harare, and groups rioted and vandalized parts of the city. Washington Post, "Zimbabwe police violently disperse protest of nose-diving economy," 17 Aug. 2019 Unfortunately some of the papers would say blacks were rioting and report that anarchists were allegedly operating in the black neighborhoods, but there is not real evidence of any of that. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "‘It Just Goes On and On’: How the Race Riots of 1919's ‘Red Summer’ Helped Shape a Century of American History," 29 July 2019 Following Milk's death, protesters began to riot outside of the courthouse in support of Milk and LGBTQ rights. Katherine Schaffstall, The Hollywood Reporter, "Lena Waithe Reveals She Married Longtime Partner Alana Mayo," 15 Nov. 2019

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 4a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for riot

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for riot

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for riot

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Riot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/riot. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for riot

riot

noun
How to pronounce riot (audio)

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
informal : 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 How to pronounce riot (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on riot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for riot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with riot

Spanish Central: Translation of riot

Nglish: Translation of riot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of riot for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about riot

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