Definition of riotous in English:



  • 1Marked by or involving public disorder.

    ‘a riotous crowd’
    • ‘Lincoln reviewed recent riotous incidents, beginning with the Vicksburg gamblers, moving to Madison County's purported slave insurrection, and ending with McIntosh's grisly death.’
    • ‘Alternatively riotous crowds would try to intimidate local magistrates into fixing acceptable prices, which was seen anyway as nothing less than their duty.’
    • ‘Police emerged, many with nightsticks, many on horseback, and, in order to prevent what they perceived as the beginnings of a riotous attack on City Hall, they began beating those protesters who were attempting to march south.’
    • ‘Under Nicholas I this practice became widespread; arson, crimes by civilians in the company of soldiers, and riotous behaviour by peasants in the presence of military guards were among the cases handled by the army courts.’
    • ‘Television covered vitriolic exchanges between politicians, and riotous confrontations on the streets.’
    • ‘Instead of ancient Persia, the action here is set in contemporary New York already overrun with riotous violence.’
    • ‘The riotous crowd around him swept him along through arcane underground tunnels to a vaulted hall.’
    • ‘Major economical upheaval caused a riotous outcry from the public for a more efficient government and less waste.’
    • ‘One of French labor's friends in power, Georges Clemenceau, as described by Friedman, in 1906 sent troops to the Nord and the Pas de Calais to break a coal miner's strike and repress riotous behavior by the strikers.’
    • ‘For example, not permitting drunken, violent or riotous behaviour is in the 1927 Liquor Act - it has just never been enforced.’
    • ‘What could cause such a riotous disturbance in the politics of the duchy?’
    unruly, rowdy, disorderly, disruptive, out of control, rioting, uncontrollable, ungovernable, unmanageable, unbiddable, insubordinate, undisciplined, turbulent, uproarious, tumultuous
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    1. 1.1 Characterized by wild and uncontrolled behaviour.
      ‘a riotous party’
      • ‘At press time, the band were hesitant to offer any previews, but if their riotous live shows have been any indication, the faint of heart may want to think about updating their life-insurance policies.’
      • ‘In Shakespeare's day, his plays were considered riotous and bawdy.’
      • ‘On Saturday night, after the match, they tried desperately to be invisible as the riotous celebration party began.’
      • ‘A riotous round of applause arose from the crowd, congratulating Will.’
      • ‘She swore the second night would be much better, that she'd pick some place less wild and riotous.’
      • ‘Needless to say, it'll accompany many a party venue this festive season, thanks to its riotous blend of groovy guitars and dance-floor driven energy.’
      • ‘His London gigs are particularly riotous affairs, I remark, and am rewarded with a proper beaming smile.’
      • ‘Don stood in the centre of what had become a riotous assembly, grinning sheepishly, enjoying the pats on the back.’
      • ‘As well as the riotous opening night party, artists were especially grateful for the exposure - and new creative partners - the Expo brought them.’
      boisterous, lively, loud, noisy, rip-roaring, unrestrained, uninhibited, roisterous, uproarious, unruly, rollicking
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    2. 1.2 Having a vivid, varied appearance.
      ‘a riotous display of bright red, green, and yellow vegetables’
      • ‘In 99 Cent, the store bins filled with candy and cookies are ablaze with a riotous display of buy-me colors.’
      • ‘But in the museum a colorful, riotous, unrestrained assemblage of ideas is on display.’
      • ‘In her riotous large-scale paintings, flat vivid colors and explosive splash patterns bound and swirl, slipping giddily toward the edges as if daring the canvas to contain them.’
    3. 1.3 Hilariously funny.
      ‘a riotous account of the making of the movie’
      • ‘What are we to make of the riotous subplots which tend to crowd out the ‘main’ line of action?’
      • ‘Relax, recline, become recumbent and ready yourself for this week's riotous, relay of rich regale from the odder and more interesting side of the Net.’
      very funny, extremely amusing, hysterically funny, hysterical, uproarious, farcical, side-splitting, rib-tickling, too funny for words
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Middle English (in the sense ‘troublesome’): from Old French, from riote (see riot).