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

Some of America’s most notorious racist riots happened 100 years ago this summer. Ursula Wolfe-rocca, Teen Vogue, "The Red Summer of 1919, Explained," 8 Apr. 2019 Her life in the arts has always flirted with provocation, even if inadvertently: As a teenager, Yao was a founding member of the riot grrrl group Emily’s Sassy Lime, which toured the United States from 1993 to 1997. Marley Marius, Vogue, "At the Honolulu Biennial, Artist Amy Yao Examines Environments and Identity (With the Help of Some Algae)," 12 Mar. 2019 Dumb environmental policies are routine across Europe—see Emmanuel Macron’s riot-inducing fuel tax in France—but even by that standard Germany’s new plan to abandon coal is notable. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "World’s Dumbest Energy Policy," 29 Jan. 2019 The Guardian reports that at least three individuals, including a Syrian, a Bulgarian, and an Afghan, were injured in Sunday’s riots. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Far-right rallies in Germany descend into violence," 28 Aug. 2018 Getty Images British officials are anticipating riots in the streets when the Brexit deal is set to officially go through on March 29, 2019. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Brexit May Force the Queen to Evacuate from the Palace," 4 Feb. 2019 There were no deaths in the riots in a downtown market in the capital, Kampala, as the security forces chased rioters who had barricaded roads, police spokesman Emilian Kayima said. Rodney Muhumuza, The Seattle Times, "Uganda police battle protesters seeking release of pop star," 20 Aug. 2018 The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "One Year After Charlottesville, Protests Shift to Washington," 12 Aug. 2018 The authorities had to draft in hundreds of extra officers from forces outside London in the biggest police mobilisation since riots across Britain in 2011. The Economist, "Donald Trump is greeted by protests across Britain," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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

12 Apr 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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