Definition of rampant in English:



  • 1(especially of something unwelcome or unpleasant) flourishing or spreading unchecked.

    ‘political violence was rampant’
    ‘rampant inflation’
    • ‘Student loads have tripled, and, although grade inflation is rampant, few faculty are inclined to question the decline in standards.’
    • ‘This job, more than any other, has really opened my eyes to just how rampant and unchecked mental illness is these days.’
    • ‘All wages were frozen in 1984 while inflation was rampant.’
    • ‘This could be accounted for by his being credited with reducing rampant inflation through a shock of strict monetary policies.’
    • ‘Put simply, if inflation is bad, it is difficult to see why rampant house price inflation can credibly be seen as anything good.’
    • ‘Council tax, on the other hand, is based on property values and so can throw up all sorts of anomalies, especially at times of rampant house price inflation.’
    • ‘Indeed, by the end of 1981 inflation was rampant, reaching 14.1 percent.’
    • ‘Individuals had to learn the importance of clean hands and basic personal sanitation to stop the rampant spread of infectious disease.’
    • ‘In my view, it has always been a case of rampant U.S. Credit inflation impairing the dollar.’
    • ‘Inflation was rampant (reaching around 1,000 per cent in Argentina) and currencies collapsed.’
    • ‘Online rumors and misinformation are rampant and can spread like wildfire.’
    • ‘In the early 1980s, the rampant inflation of the late 1970s came to an end much more quickly than anyone thought possible.’
    • ‘The state of the economy and the rampant spread of methamphetamine use has many not caring how they go about getting the tourist to hand over the money.’
    • ‘Weeks after allegations of rampant grade inflation, Harvard University professors are being asked to justify the grades they give students.’
    • ‘One of the more insidious invasions of our privacy rights is the rampant spread of drug tests in the American workplace.’
    • ‘One main aim of this plan was to halt the rampant inflation of the Nicaraguan currency, the cordoba.’
    • ‘At first the deficit was partly masked by rampant inflation and partly also set off against the money coming in from privatizations.’
    • ‘We're also told we're experiencing rampant house price inflation which will undermine inflation targets.’
    • ‘It is also suffering from rampant inflation, resulting in strikes, protests and the collapse of business investments.’
    • ‘Inflation was rampant, industrial output was low and agricultural production was below prewar levels.’
    uncontrolled, unrestrained, unchecked, unbridled, widespread, pandemic, epidemic, pervasive
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    1. 1.1(of a person or activity) violent or unrestrained in action or performance.
      ‘rampant sex’
      • ‘It is a similar picture in thousands of villages across China, where population growth has meant rampant farming and wasteful irrigation.’
      • ‘So it seems they are logging on to my website expecting photos of rampant sex in a car park and finding photos of wild flowers instead.’
      • ‘In his eyes, to improve the situation, effective control over the rampant exaggeration contained in advertisements for sex products was necessary.’
      • ‘In Salient issue 15, you may have read about how somebody ruined their life with the excesses of rampant sex and drugs, and to be honest it does happen.’
      • ‘Are some men having rampant, unprotected sex because they're high?’
      • ‘See, normally these Emanuelle flicks are little more than goofy showcases for rampant nudity and sex, but that isn't the case here.’
      • ‘More than just a rampant performer his instantly distinguishable, almost androgynous voice has the power to hurt and haunt in vastly varying situations.’
      • ‘Boxthorn's rampant growth has always been a problem.’
      • ‘The downturn in the technology sector put a swift end to IT recruitment trends characterised by inflated salaries and rampant job-hopping at all levels.’
      • ‘They had secured a bonus point by the 25th minute, and eight more scores followed in a rampant second-half performance, with Will Greenwood and Ben Cohen both grabbing a brace of tries.’
      • ‘White on 55 minutes and Hall on 87 minutes left their mark but it was a rampant second half performance that saw the home side sweep Croydon away, almost with the outgoing tide.’
      vehement, strong, violent, forceful, raging, wild, intense, fanatical, passionate
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    2. 1.2(of a plant) lush in growth; luxuriant.
      ‘a rich soil soon becomes home to rampant weeds’
      • ‘The glamour has faded away, because of the weak main building and the rampant plants growing inside and outside.’
      • ‘It is most prominent at this time of year, after the snow and before the rampant vegetation covers the worse excesses.’
      • ‘When I met him - back from cutting rampant ferns on the Plains - he had just heard a rare hawfinch in ‘Barbara's garden’.’
      • ‘Avoid rampant non-natives species such as Canadian pond weed and rapidly spreading duckweeds and water ferns.’
      • ‘Cedar trees were rampant on the untended grounds, attesting to the name of the Suttons' residence, and as he strode by one, he reached for a handful of green needles.’
      • ‘Cracked masonry, incessant graffiti and rampant weeds completed an image of decrepitude.’
      • ‘The vigorous, almost rampant tree is very productive in both spring and fall.’
      • ‘And, fortunately for gardeners, there are many other ornamental climbers that are not quite as rampant but produce a good display throughout the year.’
      • ‘Make sure, though, that you have room to grow them: Wisterias are vigorous, even rampant growers.’
      • ‘Although they can be controlled by hard pruning after the flowers have faded, it might be better to plant something less rampant in the first place.’
      • ‘Instead of getting rid of it, I decided to ‘plant’ it in the back garden where a rampant Euphorbia wulfenii needed restraining.’
      • ‘For ground cover, nothing is more rampant than my favourite edible plant, the scrambling and climbing Tropaeolum, also known as nasturtium.’
      • ‘It grows easily from rooted pieces of stem and although it is fairly vigorous, it does not suffocate other plants in the same way as a more rampant climber such as Star Jasmine would do.’
      • ‘The rampant vines produce numerous pods that turn purple as they mature.’
      • ‘The weeds and rampant vegetation seem to be dying off, as if the owner has run amok with a weedkiller can a few years too late.’
      • ‘And yes, they need sun-drenched days to produce the rampant vines that manufacture carbohydrates that sweeten the fruits.’
      • ‘Members of Friends of the Earth in York say the city's best nature sites have been swamped by rampant foreign weeds, which pose a serious threat to native animals and flora.’
      luxuriant, exuberant, lush, rank, rich, riotous, profuse, lavish, vigorous, productive
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  • 2Heraldry
    [usually postpositive] (of an animal) represented standing on one hind foot with its forefeet in the air (typically in profile, facing the dexter (left) side, with right hind foot and tail raised, unless otherwise specified)

    ‘two gold lions rampant’
    • ‘In the very few crannies left behind are fleurs-de-lis, rampant lions, unicorns, dogs, and vases of flowers.’
    • ‘The massively arched door, in the style of a portcullis, is defended on either side by rampant lions, petrified in mid-snarl.’
    • ‘Now the dome was restored to its original purple, and the gold rampant horse reared above it.’
    • ‘Large ornate metal gates broke the monotony of the fencing, featuring the crest of a rampant goat and ox, and supported by two pillars crowned by identical statues of rampant elephants bearing arms.’
    • ‘Groups of winged sphinxes and griffins trampling fallen goats alternate with rampant goats and seated griffins.’
    upright, erect, rearing, vertical, perpendicular, upended, on end
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  • 3Architecture
    (of an arch) springing from a level of support at one height and resting on the other support at a higher level.


Middle English (as a heraldic term): from Old French, literally crawling present participle of ramper (see ramp). From the original use describing a wild animal, arose the sense fierce whence the current notion of unrestrained.