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 trainingMore example sentences
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 coalsinformal 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 rollickingBritish informal have a go at, carpet, tear someone off a strip, give someone what for, let someone have itNorth American informal chew out, ream outBritish vulgar slang bollock, give someone a bollocking
- ‘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.
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