riot

noun
ri·​ot | \ˈrī-ət \

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

Four people were taken to hospitals, including one who suffered serious injuries during what Portland police said was a riot. Washington Post, "National Digest: Seattle bans drinking straws, the first major U.S. to do so," 2 July 2018 The Tour de France, the annual three-week bike race, is a visual riot. Fluto Shinzawa, BostonGlobe.com, "The soundtrack of the Tour de France," 29 June 2018 However, the game opens with very little action, the fans revolt and there is a riot that spreads into town. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "The end of Japan's World Cup game was straight out of 'The Simpsons'," 28 June 2018 What ensues at home is nonetheless a frequent riot; even the mildly clichéd stuff with Violet and her crush is cute. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Incredibles 2 Review: Superhero Action That’s Familiar, but Fantastic," 11 June 2018 The result is a riot of tactile bursts of timbre rarely heard since laptops became electronic music’s main instruments. Allan Kozinn, WSJ, "Romantic Lushness Meets Post-Tonal Grittiness," 30 May 2018 Kro-Art is all for artistic expression, and indeed, his gallery is a riot of signs, colors and lights. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Wandering buskers and topless sunbathers take Ocean City to court," 23 May 2018 That year, the county's black population, about 1,000 people at the time, were driven out altogether after what was essentially a white riot. Aaron Kessler, CNN, "Stacey Abrams won the Georgia county once known for being all white," 23 May 2018 The surrounding design is a riot of joyous whites: seasonal roses, foxgloves, aquilegia, hostas, delicate geraniums, and acebia. Vogue, "Victoria Beckham’s Guide to Summer Gardening," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Seen through this lens, 50 years after rioting left large portions of the city in ruin, the District is a great success story. Anthony A. Williams, Washington Post, "Washington has come far in 50 years, but is there a way to make it work for everyone?," 27 Mar. 2018 Ghana gave my Bay Area eyes, squinting into a bright blue sky, a whole new palette, a landscape and architecture and people in clothes and rioted textures and colors. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Old In Art School," 20 June 2018 Pownall learned months later that the injured man was Rennie Davis, another Yippie and one of eight protest organizers, including Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, who would be tried for incitement to riot in the infamous Chicago Seven trial of 1969. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Whatever happened to those radical boomer activists from the ’60s and ’70s?," 6 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

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: 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 \

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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Comments on riot

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