run riot, to

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run riot

To act in a chaotic manner. As soon as the alarm went off, everyone in the room ran riot.
See also: riot, run
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

run riot

COMMON
1. If someone runs riot, they behave badly, sometimes violently, and in a way that is not controlled. My older sister Mandy had run riot so my parents were far stricter with me. In these neighbourhoods, gangs are allowed to run riot, terrorising the innocent while the police stay safely away.
2. If something such as imagination or speculation runs riot, it expresses itself or spreads in an uncontrolled way. My imagination ran riot, visualising late nights and weekend parties. We have no proof and when there is no proof, rumour runs riot. Note: In hunting, if the hounds run riot, they follow the scents of other animals rather than the one they are supposed to be chasing.
See also: riot, run
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

run riot

1 behave in a violent and unrestrained way. 2 (of a mental faculty or emotion) function or be expressed without restraint. 3 proliferate or spread uncontrollably.
See also: riot, run
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

run ˈriot

get out of control: They allow their children to run riot — it’s not surprising that the house is always in such a mess.His imagination ran riot as he thought what he would do if he won the money.
See also: riot, run
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

run riot, to

To act without restraint or control; to overrun, to grow unrestrainedly. The earliest use of this term dates from the early sixteenth century and appears in a book on farming, John Fitzherbert’s The Boke of Husbandry (1523): “Breake thy tenure, and ren ryot at large.” It is the primary meaning of riot—unruliness and disorder—that was being transferred here and has been so used ever since. “Ye suffer your Tongues to run ryot,” wrote Bishop Joseph Hall (Works, 1656).
See also: run
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
PARENTS who leave their children to run riot in Cornwall this summer could find themselves in court.
'I felt that we were going to run riot until the goal knocked a little wind out of our sails.
The catalogue of imbecilic yobbish behaviour we have seen this year shows that these traditional events are now just another excuse for antisocial thugs to run riot and make residents' lives a misery.
Firstly, Liverpool threatened to run riot, but they didn't.
"I think they are looking at the hard pitches and good conditions in Australia for people like Joe Rokocoko to run riot and are expecting a high-scoring tournament."
Had Straus chosen not to allow theory to run riot and centered his study on the factory, the book would have made a far more satisfactory contribution to the literature.
JERMAINE BECKFORD'S late penalty snatched a vital point for Leeds after Nottingham Forest threatened to run riot.
TINY TERRORS: Some parents allow their children to run riot
Colchester scored twice in the first half through McLeash and Stockwell as they threatened to run riot.
Strikes from captain Ian Cox and Mark Stein put Bournemouth in control within 29 minutes as they threatened to run riot at a sunbaked Dean Court.
But shortly after the April visit parents accused teachers of allowing children to run riot after a pupil was removed for punching the deputy head.