ri·​ot·​ous | \ˈrī-ə-təs \

Definition of riotous 

1a : of the nature of a riot : turbulent

b : participating in riot

2 : abundant, exuberant the garden was riotous with flowers

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Other Words from riotous

riotously adverb
riotousness noun

Examples of riotous in a Sentence

a riotous profusion of flowers his riotous mugging always has everyone in hysterics

Recent Examples on the Web

These heroes, their movies, and their backstories are all thrown higgledy-piggledy into a story that somehow finds coherence, mainly thanks to the film’s firm commitment to its own riotous subversion of the superhero game. Genevieve Koski, Vox, "Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is a candy-colored cure for superhero-movie fatigue," 26 July 2018 Demand is as riotous as a Black Friday toy sale at Walmart, and a towering tsunami of pink mediocrity has flooded the market to meet it. Patrick Comiskey,, "What's wrong with rosé wines, and why you should never pay more than $25 for a bottle," 19 Apr. 2018 At the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, director Matt Pfeiffer uses the striking scenic and lighting design of Steve TenEyck to create a show that mixes riotous laughter with a sense of the tragic. Hugh Hunter,, "Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's 'Twelfth Night': A hilarious tragedy on human frailty," 24 June 2018 The Texan’s earthy folk, blues and gospel songs are at home amid the riotous laughter of children and the content murmur of picnickers. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts June 21-27: Macklemore & Kesha; Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & Dwight Yoakam," 19 June 2018 Chicago deliberately transforms the art of vaudeville into a metaphor for riotous 1920s Chicago. Hugh Hunter,, "'Chicago' at Broadway Theatre of Pitman: Lots of talent, entertainment," 8 July 2018 The blissful original cast, spearheaded by Drew Droege in a riotous drag turn as a murderous diva-on-the-skids, takes us on a two-hour-plus plunge into the playfully down-and-dirty. Matt Cooper,, "The week ahead in L.A. theater, May 20-27: 'Noises Off,' 'The Ballad of Bimini Baths' and more," 20 May 2018 American roots music aficionados will stage a riotous protest at the Sauvage gate. Doug Maccash,, "Should ABBA headline Jazz Fest 2019? Take a chance on them!," 1 May 2018 Indian burial grounds, oil derricks and the city’s sordid, riotous history all come up. Benjamin Oreskes,, "Many people work hard to avoid the homeless. These volunteers embrace them," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'riotous.' 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 riotous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near riotous

riot gun







Statistics for riotous

Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for riotous

The first known use of riotous was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of riotous

of a group of people : behaving in a violent and uncontrolled way

: very exciting, fun, or full of energy

: existing or occurring in large amounts


ri·​ot·​ous | \ˈrī-ə-təs \

Legal Definition of riotous 

1 : of the nature of a riot riotous conduct

2 : participating in a riot a riotous assemblage

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More from Merriam-Webster on riotous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for riotous

Spanish Central: Translation of riotous

Nglish: Translation of riotous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of riotous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on riotous

What made you want to look up riotous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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