riot

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

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, knee-slapper, 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

Carney initially turned to DeMatteis in June 2017, hiring her as a special assistant to help implement recommendations contained in an independent review of the Vaughn prison riot. Washington Post, "Attorney tapped to lead troubled Delaware corrections system," 4 June 2019 The riots began on August 13, 2016, hours after Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown fatally shot Syville Smith during a foot chase through the Sherman Park neighborhood. Todd Richmond, chicagotribune.com, "Feds charge man with planning to firebomb Wisconsin police station," 6 July 2018 The largest remaining structure could hold 1,200 people before the riot. Bloomberg.com, "Prisonville, Texas, Hopes to Reboot Its Economy on the Back of Trump’s Immigration Crackdown," 28 June 2018 The riots also recurred for several more nights after June 28 and gained some national attention. Courant Community, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 12 June 2018 For the past several weeks, France has been in the grip of widespread protests and riots that have led to clashes with police, leaving several people dead, hundreds more injured, and thousands of dollars’ worth of property damaged. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "Embattled French President Macron announces concessions to quell weeks of violent protests," 11 Dec. 2018 But there’s significant worry that the convention — in the era of Donald Trump — could result in not just protests but bloody riots. Josh Baugh, San Antonio Express-News, "Council to discuss GOP convention bid," 26 Apr. 2018 Gray’s death sparked nationwide protests as well as riots in the city. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Milwaukee Jail Staffers Facing Charges in Death of Inmate Who Died of Dehydration," 13 Feb. 2018 Protests and riots by members of higher castes typically end with politicians and officials acceding to their demands; similar actions by Dalits tend to be met with repression. The Economist, "UnconscionableLow-caste Indians are better off than ever—but that’s not saying much," 25 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fans might riot if Jaime or Tyrion (or her unborn baby) don't somehow end up choking the life out of her as payback for the many, many people she's killed. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why Cersei Lannister Should Survive the End of 'Game of Thrones'," 30 Apr. 2019 On Wednesday, inmates rioted at the Helicoide prison complex in Caracas, where prominent opponents of President Nicolás Maduro’s government are detained. Washington Post, "World Digest: May 18, 2018," 18 May 2018 In the week after King’s death, people rioted in more than 100 cities across America, mourning and venting rage. Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue, "How April 1968 Changed the United States Forever," 19 Apr. 2019 The clashes didn’t produce the level of violence that erupted last weekend, when protesters defaced the Arc de Triomphe and rioted across some of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "Protests Threaten Macron’s Campaign to Remake France," 9 Dec. 2018 Downs was one of 18 inmates charged after prisoners at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Delaware’s maximum-security prison, rioted on Feb. 1 of last year, killing guard Steven Floyd and taking three other staffers hostage. Randall Chase, The Seattle Times, "Man called ‘mastermind’ of prison riot severed from trial," 30 Oct. 2018 Jennie Neufeld Why do prisoners strike or riot because of the 13th Amendment? Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "A mass incarceration expert says the 2018 prison strike could be “one of the largest the country has ever seen”," 22 Aug. 2018 All of this is going on as America seethes and riots over civil rights and the Vietnam War. George Petras, USA TODAY, "Story of Apollo 8's historic 1968 mission soars in Robert Kurson's fine 'Rocket Men'," 13 Apr. 2018 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

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

7 Jun 2019

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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
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with riot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on riot

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