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riot

[rahy-uh t] /ˈraɪ ət/
noun
1.
a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons, as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy, etc., in the streets.
2.
Law. a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes.
3.
violent or wild disorder or confusion.
4.
a brilliant display:
a riot of color.
5.
something or someone hilariously funny:
You were a riot at the party.
6.
unrestrained revelry.
7.
an unbridled outbreak, as of emotions, passions, etc.
8.
Archaic. loose, wanton living; profligacy.
verb (used without object)
9.
to take part in a riot or disorderly public outbreak.
10.
to live in a loose or wanton manner; indulge in unrestrained revelry:
Many of the Roman emperors rioted notoriously.
11.
Hunting. (of a hound or pack) to pursue an animal other than the intended quarry.
12.
to indulge unrestrainedly; run riot.
verb (used with object)
13.
to spend (money, time, etc.) in riotous living (usually followed by away or out).
Idioms
14.
run riot,
  1. to act without control or restraint:
    The neighbors let their children run riot.
  2. to grow luxuriantly or abundantly:
    Crab grass is running riot in our lawn.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English: debauchery, revel, violent disturbance < Old French riot(e) debate, dispute, quarrel, derivative of rihoter, riot(t)er to quarrel; (v.) Middle English rioten < Old French rihoter, riot(t)er
Related forms
rioter, noun
antiriot, adjective, noun
counterrioter, noun
nonrioter, noun
nonrioting, adjective
unrioting, adjective
Synonyms
1. outbreak, brawl, fray, melee. 3. uproar, tumult, disturbance. 9. brawl, fight. 10. carouse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rioting
  • That night and the next, there was sporadic violence and rioting in the lawless city.
British Dictionary definitions for rioting

riot

/ˈraɪət/
noun
1.
  1. a disturbance made by an unruly mob or (in law) three or more persons; tumult or uproar
  2. (as modifier): a riot gun, riot police, a riot shield
2.
boisterous activity; unrestrained revelry
3.
an occasion of boisterous merriment
4.
(slang) a person who occasions boisterous merriment
5.
a dazzling or arresting display: a riot of colour
6.
(hunting) the indiscriminate following of any scent by hounds
7.
(archaic) wanton lasciviousness
8.
run riot
  1. to behave wildly and without restraint
  2. (of plants) to grow rankly or profusely
verb
9.
(intransitive) to take part in a riot
10.
(intransitive) to indulge in unrestrained revelry or merriment
11.
(transitive) foll by away. to spend (time or money) in wanton or loose living: he has rioted away his life
Derived Forms
rioter, noun
rioting, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French riote dispute, from ruihoter to quarrel, probably from ruir to make a commotion, from Latin rugīre to roar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rioting
n.

1590s, "dissoluteness," verbal noun from riot (v.). Earlier was riotry (early 14c.). Meaning "continuous public disturbance" is from 1832.

riot

n.

c.1200, "debauchery, extravagance, wanton living," from Old French riote (12c.) "dispute, quarrel, (tedious) talk, chattering, argument, domestic strife," also a euphemism for "sexual intercourse," of uncertain origin. Cf. Medieval Latin riota "quarrel, dispute, uproar, riot." Perhaps from Latin rugire "to roar." Meaning "public disturbance" is first recorded late 14c. Meaning "something spectacularly successful" first recorded 1909 in theater slang.

Run riot is first recorded 1520s, a metaphoric extension from Middle English meaning in reference to hounds following the wrong scent. The Riot Act, part of which must be read to a mob before active measures can be taken, was passed 1714 (1 Geo. I, st.2, c.5). Riot girl and alternative form riot grrl first recorded 1992.

v.

late 14c., "behave in a dissolute manner, engage in loose revelry," from Old French rioter "chatter, dispute, quarrel," from riote (see riot (n.)). Meaning "take part in a public disturbance" is from 1755. Related: Rioted; rioting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with rioting
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for rioting

riot

in criminal law, a violent offense against public order involving three or more people. Like an unlawful assembly, a riot involves a gathering of persons for an illegal purpose. In contrast to an unlawful assembly, however, a riot involves violence. The concept is obviously broad and embraces a wide range of group conduct, from a bloody clash between picketers and strikebreakers to the behaviour of a street-corner gang

Learn more about riot with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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