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.
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.
violent or wild disorder or confusion.
a brilliant display: a riot of color.
something or someone hilariously funny: You were a riot at the party.
unrestrained revelry.
an unbridled outbreak, as of emotions, passions, etc.
Archaic. loose, wanton living; profligacy.
verb (used without object)
to take part in a riot or disorderly public outbreak.
to live in a loose or wanton manner; indulge in unrestrained revelry: Many of the Roman emperors rioted notoriously.
Hunting. (of a hound or pack) to pursue an animal other than the intended quarry.
to indulge unrestrainedly; run riot.
verb (used with object)
to spend (money, time, etc.) in riotous living (usually followed by away or out ).
run riot,
to act without control or restraint: The neighbors let their children run riot.
to grow luxuriantly or abundantly: Crab grass is running riot in our lawn.

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

rioter, noun
antiriot, adjective, noun
counterrioter, noun
nonrioter, noun
nonrioting, adjective
unrioting, adjective

1. outbreak, brawl, fray, melee. 3. uproar, tumult, disturbance. 9. brawl, fight. 10. carouse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
riot (ˈraɪət)
1.  a.  a disturbance made by an unruly mob or (in law) three or more persons; tumult or uproar
 b.  (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
 a.  to behave wildly and without restraint
 b.  (of plants) to grow rankly or profusely
vb (foll by away)
9.  (intr) to take part in a riot
10.  (intr) to indulge in unrestrained revelry or merriment
11.  to spend (time or money) in wanton or loose living: he has rioted away his life
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "debauchery, extravagance, wanton living," from O.Fr. riote (masc. riot) "dispute, quarrel," perhaps from Prov. riota, of uncertain origin. Meaning "public disturbance" is first recorded 1390. Meaning "something spectacularly successful" first recorded 1909 in theater slang. The verb is attested
from late 14c. Run riot is first recorded 1520s, a metaphoric extension from M.E. meaning in ref. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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