American English

Definition of riot noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a situation in which a group of people behave in a violent way in a public place, often as a protest One prison guard was killed when a riot broke out in the jail. food/race riots
  2. 2[singular] riot of something (formal) a collection of a lot of different types of the same thing The garden was a riot of color. The market was a riot of unfamiliar sounds and smells. A riot of emotions raged through her.
  3. 3a riot [singular] (old-fashioned) (informal) a person or an event that is very amusing and enjoyable
  4. Idioms
    read (somebody) the riot act
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    to tell someone with force that they must not do something
    1. 1(of people) to behave in a way that is violent and/or not under control synonym rampage They let their kids run riot.
    2. 2if your imagination, a feeling, etc. runs riot, you allow it to develop and continue without trying to control it An artist must learn to let his imagination run riot. These prejudices have been allowed to run riot for too long.
    3. 3(of plants) to grow and spread quickly
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: riot