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

While the movie was being shot in Mexico, Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, and riots had broken out from Detroit to New Jersey. J.b., The Economist, "Why “The Wild Bunch” ranks among the most influential Westerns," 18 June 2019 Drop the riot charges [made against protesters earlier in the week]. Don’t charge protesters. Amy Gunia, Time, "Protesters Call for Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam to Step Down in the Wake of the Failed Extradition Bill," 16 June 2019 The families were escorted from the council chambers by a dozen police officers, many wearing riot helmets. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Vallejo city attorney says media has it in for the city," 15 June 2019 Half-a-century ago, riots broke out in New York’s Greenwich Village after police raided a gay bar. Catharine Hamm, latimes.com, "Escapes: The joy of uninvited guests who come along for the ride," 13 June 2019 Regram this image and riot for intellectual property rights. Kathleen Newman-bremang, refinery29.com, "Canadian Fashion Label Says Its Design Was Stolen & Sold For Twice The Price," 13 June 2019 As religious riots broke out across British India, leaving tens of thousands dead, British and Indian leaders began to seriously consider a partition of the subcontinent based on religion. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "The Kashmir conflict: How did it start?," 2 Mar. 2019 The protests have grown more heated, with the government deploying tens of thousands of police officers across the country after riots erupted in Paris last weekend. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "Five Things on the France Protests," 8 Dec. 2018 The Los Angeles riots erupted on April 29, 1992, shortly after four white police officers were acquitted in the 1991 beating of Rodney King, then a taxi driver. Tammy Joyner, Glamour, "Since Rodney King, Has Anything Really Changed for Black Men and the Women Who Raise Them?," 27 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On June 28, 1969, gay residents of Greenwich Village, rioted outside Stonewall Inn after police raided the bar, which was Mob-owned but a gay hangout. Caroline Linton, CBS News, "Joe Biden visits New York City's Stonewall Inn ahead of 50th anniversary of uprising," 18 June 2019 And that’s troubling because if the goddamn Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t seem freaky to women, then lawmakers can go a long, long way in terms of repealing reproductive rights before people start rioting in the streets. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner's Handmaid's Tale Party Sends a Terrifying Message," 12 June 2019 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

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

21 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

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