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

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

Dozens of people were killed in anti-foreigner riots in 2008 and 2015. The Economist, "Xenophobic violence flares in South Africa," 9 Sep. 2019 Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys ran riot over the New York Giants, eventually winning 35-17, while in another all-NFC East game, the Philadelphia Eagles overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Washington Redskins. Ben Morse, CNN, "NFL week one: Death, taxes ... and the New England Patriots unfurling a NFL championship banner," 9 Sep. 2019 Gibson and five other Patriot Prayer affiliates were arrested last month and face felony riot charges in connection with the May Day incident at Cider Riot. oregonlive, "Cider Riot owner among Portland Timbers fans banned for waving antifa symbol," 7 Sep. 2019 Barcelona dominated the match from the off, and last season's runners up were 4-1 to the good at half-time, as the hosts ran riot against their new rivals. SI.com, "Real Madrid's CD Tacón Crushed 9-1 by Barcelona Femení in Unofficial Women's Clásico," 7 Sep. 2019 Later that spring, a May Day riot erupted in Roxbury. Brian Macquarrie, BostonGlobe.com, "When the city was lawless: Recalling the Boston Police Strike of 1919," 7 Sep. 2019 One of them attended a violent Patriot Prayer rally in Portland in 2018 and was photographed there in riot regalia. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "When the State Enforces “Straight Pride”," 4 Sep. 2019 Lookout Mountain has been the site of numerous incidents this year, including multiple escapes and violent riots that left staff and youth injured. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Teen accused of escaping Golden juvenile detention facility, stealing vehicle charged with felonies," 3 Sep. 2019 China has threatened military action and held less-than-subtle crowd control and riot drills across the border. Author: Shibani Mahtani, Timothy Mclaughlin, Anchorage Daily News, "Protesters focus again on Hong Kong’s airport, snarling transport links after day of violence," 1 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

About 25 inmates rioted at a prison in Monterey County on Monday evening, resulting in four injuries, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a release. Alexa Díaz, latimes.com, "Prison riot involving about 25 inmates ends with 4 being stabbed," 10 July 2019 The initiative never progressed past the initial stages because the government feared that conservative and religious groups would riot. Brianna Holt, Quartz, "A new French law could offer IVF for unmarried women and lesbians," 8 Aug. 2019 When 30 million salmon died in 2016, fisherman on the island of Chiloe rioted for weeks as dead clams washed up. Los Angeles Times, "Data rigging is latest Chile salmon farm scandal," 4 Aug. 2019 Thousands of protesters rioted in the streets as Humphrey was nominated. Rachel Caufield, The Conversation, "How did the presidential campaign get to be so long?," 30 July 2019 In the aftermath of Poussey’s death, Litchfield inmates rioted, demanding justice. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Prescience of Orange Is the New Black," 25 July 2019 Emboldened by 1960s counterculture protests, the gay community rioted in Greenwich Village, and continued rioting for six days. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, "The parade is over, but the party continues. Celebrating 50 years of Pride in New York," 23 July 2019 After losing Game 7 the last time, in 2011, angry Vancouver fans rioted, burning cars and looting stores. New York Times, "St. Louis Celebrates, Leaving Other Cities to Sing the Title Drought Blues," 13 June 2019 The Independent reports that hundreds of Haitian and African refugees rioted on Tuesday and attempted to escape the immigration center, in the third uprising in the past month. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Mother Seen Crying For Help For Her 'Dying' Son In Shocking Footage From Mexican Detention Center," 28 June 2019

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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Statistics for riot

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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
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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