Definition of rampant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrampənt/


1(Especially of something unwelcome or unpleasant) flourishing or spreading unchecked: political violence was rampant rampant inflation
More example sentences
  • Online rumors and misinformation are rampant and can spread like wildfire.
  • One of the more insidious invasions of our privacy rights is the rampant spread of drug tests in the American workplace.
  • This job, more than any other, has really opened my eyes to just how rampant and unchecked mental illness is these days.
uncontrolled, unrestrained, unchecked, unbridled, widespread;
out of control, out of hand, rife
1.1(Of a person or activity) violent or unrestrained in action or performance: rampant sex
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • See, normally these Emanuelle flicks are little more than goofy showcases for rampant nudity and sex, but that isn't the case here.
  • Are some men having rampant, unprotected sex because they're high?
vehement, strong, violent, forceful, intense, passionate, fanatical
1.2(Of a plant) lush in growth; luxuriant: a rich soil soon becomes home to rampant weeds
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Cracked masonry, incessant graffiti and rampant weeds completed an image of decrepitude.
  • The rampant vines produce numerous pods that turn purple as they mature.
luxuriant, exuberant, lush, rich, riotous, rank, profuse, vigorous
informal jungly
2 [usually postpositive] Heraldry (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
More example sentences
  • The massively arched door, in the style of a portcullis, is defended on either side by rampant lions, petrified in mid-snarl.
  • Groups of winged sphinxes and griffins trampling fallen goats alternate with rampant goats and seated griffins.
  • Now the dome was restored to its original purple, and the gold rampant horse reared above it.
3 Architecture (Of an arch) springing from a level of support at one height and resting on the other support at a higher level.



Pronunciation: /ˈramp(ə)nsē/
Example sentences
  • But the sheer rampancy of what was supposed to be going on in the King's Royal Hussars was not something most of us have experienced.
  • The sheer rampancy with which this practice is being followed has posed the BCC with a huge problem even as large hoardings are contemplated for removal on grounds of distracting motorists.
  • It might not actually be rampant, as rampancy is a bit too energetic.


Example sentences
  • The pirated VCDs are sold rampantly.
  • That being said, she concedes that there will be a more rampantly Celtic vibe to their Starlite show, in honour of St. Patrick's Day.
  • Unfortunately for me, I developed early and, in the course of doing so, sprouted rampantly growing patches of thick, dark fur all over my body.


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'.

  • Something rampant flourishes or spreads in an uncontrolled way. This is a development of the original use in heraldry, which described an animal, like the lion rampant of Scotland, rearing up on its left hind foot with its forefeet in the air. Its origins are much less vigorous, going back to French ramper, which means ‘to creep, crawl’, or ‘to climb’. Rampage (late 17th century), originally a Scottish word, comes from the same root, as does the ramp, used in Middle English to mean ‘to rear up’, and as a slope to get you up to another level from the late 18th century

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ramp·ant

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