Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “read (sb) the riot act”

read (sb) the riot act

to speak angrily to someone about something they have done and warn that person that they will be punished if it happens again : He'd put up with a lot of bad behaviour from his son and thought it was time to read him the riot act .Chastising and rebuking
(Definition of read (sb) the riot act from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Chastising & rebuking, but you might be interested in these topics from the Expressing opposition & disapproval topic area:

Translations of “read (sb) the riot act”

Word of the Day

tie the knot

to get married

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More