read someone the riot act

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From read the Riot Act (give a formal warning to a riotous assembly by reading a prescribed portion of the Riot Act, UK, 1715-1967)

Verb[edit]

read (someone) the riot act

  1. (idiomatic) To scold or berate somebody; to reprimand.
    She really read him the riot act about his smoking habit.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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