riot

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read someone the riot act

Fig. to give someone a severe scolding. The manager read me the riot act for coming in late. The teacher read the students the riot act for their failure to do their assignments.
See also: act, read, riot

riot of color

Cliché a selection of many bright colors. The landscape was a riot of color each autumn.
See also: color, of, riot

run amok

 and run amuck
to go awry; to go bad; to turn bad; to go into a frenzy. (From a Malay word meaning to run wild in a violent frenzy.) Our plan ran amok. He ran amuck early in the school year and never quite got back on the track.
See also: amok, run

run riot

 and run wild
Fig. to get out of control. The dandelions have run riot in our lawn. The children ran wild at the birthday party and had to be taken home.
See also: riot, run

read somebody the riot act

also read the riot act to somebody
to strongly warn someone to stop behaving badly Alice read Randi the riot act, telling her, “If you don't like it here, you can just go back where you came from.” The secretary of state said she plans to read the riot act to the country's leaders during meetings next week.
Related vocabulary: lay down the law
Etymology: based on the Riot Act (an English law of 1715 that provided a way to deal with a crowd of people who were causing trouble)
See also: act, read, riot

run amok

to act in a wild or dangerous manner There were 50 little kids running amok at the snack bar.
See also: amok, run

read (somebody) the riot act

to speak angrily to someone about something they have done and warn them that they will be punished if they do it again
Usage notes: The riot act was a law made in 1715 which said how to deal with groups of twelve or more people who were causing trouble.
He'd put up with a lot of bad behaviour from his son and thought it was time to read him the riot act.
See also: act, read, riot

run riot

 
1. if people run riot, they behave in a way that is not controlled, running in all directions or being noisy or violent I dread them coming round because they let their kids run riot.
2. if your imagination runs riot, you have a lot of strange, exciting, or surprising thoughts My imagination was running riot, thinking of all the ways that I could spend the money.
See read the riot act
See also: riot, run

read the riot act

Warn or reprimand forcefully or severely, as in When he was caught throwing stones at the windows, the principal read him the riot act . This term alludes to an actual British law, the Riot Act of 1714, which required reading a proclamation so as to disperse a crowd; those who did not obey within an hour were guilty of a felony. [First half of 1800s]
See also: act, read, riot

run amok

Also, run riot or wild . Behave in a frenzied, out-of-control, or unrestrained manner. For example, I was afraid that if I left the toddler alone she would run amok and have a hard time calming down , or The weeds are running riot in the lawn, or The children were running wild in the playground. Amok comes from a Malay word for "frenzied" and was adopted into English, and at first spelled amuck, in the second half of the 1600s. Run riot dates from the early 1500s and derives from an earlier sense, that is, a hound's following an animal scent. Run wild alludes to an animal reverting to its natural, uncultivated state; its figurative use dates from the late 1700s.
See also: amok, run

riot

(ˈrɑɪət)
n. someone or something entertaining or funny. Tom was a riot last night.

run amok

(ˈrən əˈmək)
in. to go awry. (From a Malay word meaning to run wild in a violent frenzy.) Our plan ran amok.
See also: amok, run

read the riot act

To warn or reprimand energetically or forcefully: The teacher read the riot act to the rowdy class.
See also: act, read, riot

read the riot act

Criticize harshly. A 1725 British Act of Parliament provided that a magistrate could tell any gathering of a dozen or more people who were creating a civil disturbance to disperse by reading an official statement to that effect. Failure to heed the warning led to arrest (the law remained in effect until 1973). Used popularly, the phrase became the equivalent of “getting a good chewing out,” even if only one person was “read the riot act.”
See also: act, read, riot
References in periodicals archive ?
When asked why he rioted, one rioter responded simply 'greed'.
Finally, in the heat of the evening near midnight on June 21, 1943, the racial tension that had been building for years brought the city to its knees as whites and blacks rioted and attacked each other, quickly requiring federal troops to restore "order.
Again, television had nothing to do with the Poll-Tax Riot in Trafalgar Square in 1990, but it can't just be a coincidence that the inmates of Strangeways, who had all been watching it on television, rioted early the very next morning.
Not everyone rioted for the same reasons, and different offenses, different issues, often invoked different communities, but they frequently created an overlapping web of action.
About 700 to 800 inmates rioted Wednesday at the Pitchess Detention Center for close to 15 minutes Wednesday morning, but were settled by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who used pepper spray to quell the fighting.
As people ceased to consider themselves part of a single community and formed interest groups, they also rioted in more violent, often deadly terms.
Roman Catholics rioted Saturday in protests of Protestant marches through their neighborhoods.
Dearth and breakdown may explain why food riots occurred when they did, but they do not explain why some rioted and others did not (dearth and breakdown were not localized phenomenon), nor why the riots took the shape they did.
Irish policemen and firemen, together with white laborers and small businessmen, rioted in the southern part of the city.