Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of people.
  • noun Law A violent disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled for a common purpose.
  • noun An unrestrained outbreak, as of laughter or passions.
  • noun A profusion.
  • noun Unrestrained merrymaking; revelry.
  • noun Debauchery.
  • noun Slang An irresistibly funny person or thing.
  • intransitive verb To take part in a riot.
  • intransitive verb To live wildly or engage in uncontrolled revelry.
  • intransitive verb To waste (money or time) in wild or wanton living.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A disturbance arising from wanton and disorderly conduct; a tumult; an uproar; a brawl.
  • noun Specifically In law, an unlawful assembly which has actually begun to execute the purpose for which it assembled by a breach of the peace, and to the terror of the public, or a lawful assembly proceeding to execute an unlawful purpose. A riot cannot take place unless three persons at least are present. Stephen. Compare rout, 4, and unlawful assembly (under unlawful).
  • noun A luxurious and loose manner of living; boisterous and excessive festivity; revelry.
  • noun Confusion; a confused or chaotic mass; a jumble; a medley.
  • noun To grow luxuriantly, wildly, or in rank abundance.
  • noun Synonyms and Mutiny, Sedition, etc. See insurrection, quarrel.
  • To act in a wanton and disorderly manner; rouse a tumult or disturbance; specifically, to take part in a riot (see riot, n., 2), or outbreak against the public peace.
  • To be in a state of disorder or confusion; act irregularly.
  • To revel; run to excess in feasting, drinking, or other sensual indulgences; act in an unrestrained or wanton manner.
  • To throw into tumult or confusion; disturb; harass; annoy.
  • To indulge in pleasure or sensual enjoyment; satiate: used reflexively.
  • To pass in riot; destroy or put an end to by riotous living: with out.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To engage in riot; to act in an unrestrained or wanton manner; to indulge in excess of luxury, feasting, or the like; to revel; to run riot; to go to excess.
  • intransitive verb (Law) To disturb the peace; to raise an uproar or sedition. See Riot, n., 3.
  • noun Wanton or unrestrained behavior; uproar; tumult.
  • noun Excessive and exxpensive feasting; wild and loose festivity; revelry.
  • noun (Law) The tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by an unlawful assembly of three or more persons in the execution of some private object.
  • noun to act wantonly or without restraint.
  • transitive verb To spend or pass in riot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Wanton or unrestrained behavior; uproar; tumult.
  • noun The tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by an unlawful assembly of three or more persons in the execution of some private object.
  • noun Excessive and expensive feasting; wild and loose festivity; revelry.
  • verb To create or take part in a riot.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb take part in a riot; disturb the public peace by engaging in a riot
  • noun a joke that seems extremely funny
  • noun a state of disorder involving group violence
  • noun a public act of violence by an unruly mob
  • verb engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking
  • noun a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, dispute, from rioter, to quarrel, perhaps from ruire, to roar, from Latin rūgīre.]

Examples

  • This doesn't allow the police to make blanket requests-such as information about everyone in a particular area at a particular time, or everyone messaging the word "riot"-but it does mean that such evidence can be acquired about individuals identified in other ways CCTV, for example.

    Ars Technica

  • "I think the term riot is a dangerous term to throw around," Freeman said.

    press-citizen.com - SPORTS

  • On New York Times, a series of pictures showing the riot is also criticized as catering to stereotypes and distorting facts.

    Global Voices in English » China: Call for tough response and resent of biased media

  • But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.

    Martin Luther King Jr.—if anyone is listening

  • But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.

    April « 2008 « Bill Ayers

  • Conference of Catholic Bishops, challenging what it calls a riot of laughable errors in the book and in the movie.

    CNN Transcript May 18, 2006

  • The Duke of York and Earl of Salisbury set forth to repress what they called a riot, probably unaware of the numbers who were daily joining the Queen.

    Grisly Grisell

  • Saying it was not time to "pussyfoot around" with the lawbreakers, he said he would begin a three-month consultation on ways to deal with what he called "riot tourism," focusing on scrapping a rule that allows for the eviction from subsidized housing of people who commit crimes in their own neighborhoods in favor of a broader measure that would allow for similar punishment wherever the offenses were committed.

    NYT > Home Page

  • But Community Secretary Eric Pickles is planning a 12-week consultation on whether powers should be extended to allow councils to punish those convicted of what he called "riot tourism" in other areas.

    BBC News - Home

  • - Your right to assembly can be violated if the police believe a "riot" is underway.

    Obama Administration Looks To Reinstate Assault-Weapons Ban

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