Definition of riot noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈraɪət//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈraɪət//
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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 Wordfindercivil disobedience, demonstrate, hunger strike, march, occupy, placard, protest, riot, sabotage, uprising See related entries: Protest
  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 colour. 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. Word OriginMiddle English (originally in the sense ‘dissolute living’): from Old French riote ‘debate’, from rioter ‘to quarrel’, of unknown ultimate origin.Extra examples He was killed in the riots. Local youths ran riot after the attack. Prison riots broke out over worsening conditions. Shortages eventually led to food riots. The city had the worst race riot in history. The city’s housing and unemployment problems provoked serious riots. The movie is a laugh riot. a riot against bread prices the violent draft riots during the Civil War Food riots resulted in two deaths and looting throughout the city. His arrest caused widespread riots that the government suppressed with brutality. The demonstrators were held back by 6 000 riot police using tear gas and water cannon.Idioms
    read (somebody) the Riot Act
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    (British English) to tell somebody with force that they must not do something From an Act of Parliament passed in 1715 to prevent riots. It made it illegal for a group of twelve or more people to refuse to split up if they were ordered to do so and part of the Act was read to them.
    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 American Dictionary entry: riot