riotous -- different meanings?

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Again in "The Great Gatsby", the word "riotous" occurs twice, either is not easy for me to determine the precise meaning.

The American Heritage Dictionary gives the following meanings:

1) Of, relating to, or resembling a riot.
2) Participating in or inciting to riot or uproar.
3) Uproarious; boisterous: a riotous party.
4) Dissolute; wanton: riotous living.
5) Abundant or luxuriant: a riotous growth.

So, any help on this matter is really appreciated again.


When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction--Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.

It was a matter of chance that I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities in North America. It was on that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York and where there are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of land.

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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    I think "boisterous" fits pretty well for both uses of the word, jxhp. Scott seems to be telling us that both the excursions and the island are lively and disorderly.


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I agree with Owlman. You might also want to look at our dictionary gives two senses:
    1 marked by or involving public disorder.
    ■ involving wild and uncontrolled behaviour.​
    2 having a vivid, varied appearance.
    The first sense is relevant - wild and disorderly.

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    If you've ever been in a city centre nightclub at closing, jxhp, you'll surely have noticed a lot of riotous behaviour going on; wild and disorderly, as natkretep says, describes it well.
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