—rioter, n./ruy"euht/, n.1. a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons, as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy, etc., in the streets.2. Law. a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes.3. violent or wild disorder or confusion.4. a brilliant display: a riot of color.5. something or someone hilariously funny: You were a riot at the party.6. unrestrained revelry.7. an unbridled outbreak, as of emotions, passions, etc.8. Archaic. loose, wanton living; profligacy.9. run riot,a. to act without control or restraint: The neighbors let their children run riot.b. to grow luxuriantly or abundantly: Crab grass is running riot in our lawn.v.i.10. to take part in a riot or disorderly public outbreak.11. to live in a loose or wanton manner; indulge in unrestrained revelry: Many of the Roman emperors rioted notoriously.12. Hunting. (of a hound or pack) to pursue an animal other than the intended quarry.13. to indulge unrestrainedly; run riot.v.t.[1175-1225; (n.) ME: debauchery, revel, violent disturbance < OF riot(e) debate, dispute, quarrel, deriv. of rihoter, riot(t)er to quarrel; (v.) ME rioten < OF rihoter, riot(t)er]Syn. 1. outbreak, brawl, fray, melee. 3. uproar, tumult, disturbance. 10. brawl, fight. 11. carouse.
* * *in criminal law, a violent offense against public order involving three or more people. Like an unlawful assembly, a riot involves a gathering of persons for an illegal purpose. In contrast to an unlawful assembly, however, a riot involves violence. The concept is obviously broad and embraces a wide range of group conduct, from a bloody clash between picketers and strikebreakers to the behaviour of a street-corner gang.In Anglo-American legal systems, the offense of riot lies mainly in a breach of the peace (disturbing the peace). Under continental European codes, the offense requires interference with or resistance to public authority. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and India (Indian law), riot is usually a misdemeanour punishable by light sentences. However, laws in the United Kingdom provide for harsher penalties when rioters refuse to disperse after they have been ordered to do so by a magistrate. In the United States, Canada, and India, the penalty is increased for a riot against public authority, though it is not as harsh as that of the United Kingdom, and the violation of public authority through riot does not require the formal presence of a magistrate.In Germany riot is limited to an offense against public authority, and lesser acts of group violence are termed breaches of the public peace. For a disturbance to constitute a riot, an official engaged in the exercise of his duties must be resisted, assaulted, or threatened. The penalty for both riot and breach of the peace is greater under German law if the accused person performed one of the overt acts or was a ringleader, a distinction also observed in Japan. French law does not define riot separately but treats it as a special case of resistance to public authority under the general heading of rebellion. Breach of the peace, which is central to the Anglo-American concept of riot, is not treated as an offense in French law.
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