Definition of Riot Act in English:

Riot Act

Line breaks: Riot Act
An Act passed by the British government in 1715 and repealed in 1967, designed to prevent civil disorder. The Act made it a felony for an assembly of more than twelve people to refuse to disperse after being ordered to do so and having been read a specified section of the Act by lawful authority.

Phrases

read someone the Riot Act

British Give someone a severe warning or reprimand: he read the riot act to his players after hauling them in for extra training
More example sentences
  • ‘Michael has a reputation for reading the Riot Act to civil servants.’
  • The upshot was that the Mayor read the Riot Act and the they postponed their get-together until the following month.
  • Up came the men in yellow and orange to read the Riot Act and cast a threatening cloud.
Synonyms
reprimand, rebuke, scold, admonish, reprove, upbraid, chastise, chide, censure, castigate, lambaste, berate, lecture, criticize, take to task, give a piece of one's mind to, haul over the coals
informal tell off, give someone a telling-off, dress down, give someone a dressing-down, bawl out, pitch into, lay into, lace into, blow up at, give someone an earful, give someone a roasting, give someone a rocket, give someone a rollicking
North American informal chew out, ream out
British vulgar slang bollock, give someone a bollocking

Definition of Riot Act in:

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