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 The police unleashed tear gas last week the day after Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill into law that banned the use of it unless a riot was declared. Washington Post, "Police: $23 million lost due to ongoing Portland protests," 9 July 2020 Officials declared a riot, and while attempting to disperse the crowd, officers were struck by bricks, mortars, M-90s, and flammable items, according to Portland police. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Portland protesters attack police and courthouses with explosives and machetes," 6 July 2020 Police twice declared a riot on Saturday, once at 4 a.m. and another later just after 11 p.m. oregonlive, "Portland protests expected to continue for 39th consecutive day," 6 July 2020 Police in Portland declared a riot around 11 p.m. local time Saturday as Independence Day marked the 38th consecutive day of civil unrest in the city. Fox News, "Acting CBP commissioner on border patrol deployed to Portland amid unrest: 'Where are the local political leaders?'," 6 July 2020 In that case, my father was convicted of inciting a riot. Ras Baraka, The Economist, "Policing in America Ras Baraka on reforms to bring communities and police closer together," 6 July 2020 Mayor Hodges personally showed up there to broker a solution, and the 18-day occupation ended without a riot. New York Times, "‘They Have Lost Control’: Why Minneapolis Burned," 3 July 2020 Those dates coincide with the lifting of a curfew for the downtown and Ohio City areas, which the city restricted access to after a riot broke out during a May 30 protest of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Ohio’s coronavirus mortality rate declines as young people account for higher percentage of cases, MetroHealth says," 30 June 2020 Patrons and onlookers fought back—and the days-long melee that ensued, characterized then as a riot and now known as the Stonewall Rebellion, helped spark the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How the Stonewall uprising ignited the modern LGBTQ rights movement," 26 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Chicago 7 is based on a real-life incident in which the federal government charged seven defendants with conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other offenses tied to protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 heads to Netflix," 1 July 2020 The Brown Shirt’s mission was to riot, burn, beat up and kill citizens in an effort to sway the elections to ensure their National Socialist agenda. Mariah Timms, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Did Adolf Hitler defund the police in Nazi Germany?," 19 June 2020 Keaton is also set to play a role in Aaron Sorkin's upcoming The Trial of the Chicago 7, a true story of a group of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy, inciting to riot, and more during the 1968 Democratic Convention. Omar Sanchez, EW.com, "Michael Keaton to star in limited series based on NYT bestseller Dopesick," 17 June 2020 The comments reminded me of stories people in Anna have told me about rumors spreading through town in the late 1960s and early 1970s that black people from Cairo, about 30 minutes south, were coming up to Anna to riot. Logan Jaffe, ProPublica, "A Sundown Town Sees Its First Black Lives Matter Protest," 12 June 2020 Lower courts, for their part, have repeatedly denied bail to Varavara Rao, an 81-year-old poet awaiting trial in Mumbai with ten other elderly activists for supposedly inciting those at the bottom of the caste ladder to riot two years ago. The Economist, "Banyan India’s bureaucrats are fighting covid-19 with red tape," 11 June 2020 Zakiya Courtney understands that the people who loot and riot during protests aren’t the protesters. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'I'm going to be a black man one day and I'm scared:' Why it's important for kids to talk about racism," 10 June 2020 Those who are exposed to riot control agents at close proximity or in a closed space can experience long-term effects, such as blindness, glaucoma or respiratory failure. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "The military is banned from using tear gas on the battlefield, but police can use it on crowds at home. Here's why," 8 June 2020 In the past week, false social media rumors spread like a brush fire warning that leftist insurgents would be descending on these historically conservative areas to loot, riot and cause chaos, using the protests as cover. oregonlive, "Unprecedented racial justice protests spread to Oregon towns across the state," 6 June 2020

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

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Riot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/riot. Accessed 6 Aug. 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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