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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English rampand, rampend, present participle of rampen (to rise by climbing, shoot up, sprout, sty, ascend), from Old French ramper (to creep, climb) (see below), equivalent to ramp +‎ -and or ramp +‎ -ant. Recorded since 1382, "standing on the hind legs" (as in heraldry), later, "fierce, ravenous" (1387). Compare Scots rampand (rampant).

Alternatively from Middle English *rampant (not found), from Old French rampant, the present participle of ramper (to creep, climb), equivalent to ramp +‎ -ant. Old French ramper derives from Frankish *rampōn, *hrampōn (to hook, grapple, climb), from *rampa, *hrampa (hook, claw, talon), from Proto-Germanic *hrempaną (to curve, shrivel, shrink, wrinkle). More at ramp.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹæm.pənt/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æmpənt


rampant (comparative more rampant, superlative most rampant)

  1. (originally) Rearing on both hind legs with the forelegs extended.
    The Vienna riding school displays splendid rampant movement.
  2. (heraldry) Rearing up, especially on its hind leg(s), with a foreleg raised and in profile.
    • 1846, Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado
      ‘I forget your coat of arms.’
      ‘A human foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.’
    • (Can we date this quote?), Thomas Hardy, The Well-Beloved
      little pieces of moustache on his upper lip, like a pair of minnows rampant
  3. (architecture) Tilted, said of an arch with one side higher than the other, or a vault whose two abutments are located on an inclined plane.
  4. Unrestrained or unchecked, usually in a negative manner.
    Weeds are rampant in any neglected garden.
    • 2012 March 1, William E. Carter, Merri Sue Carter, “The British Longitude Act Reconsidered”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 87:
      Conditions were horrendous aboard most British naval vessels at the time. Scurvy and other diseases ran rampant, killing more seamen each year than all other causes combined, including combat.
    • 2013, Phil McNulty, "Man City 4-1 Man Utd", BBC Sport, 22 September 2013:
      In contrast to the despair of his opposite number, it was a day of delight for new City boss Manuel Pellegrini as he watched the rampant Blues make a powerful statement about their Premier League ambitions.
  5. Rife, or occurring widely, frequently or menacingly.
    There was rampant corruption in the city.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]






  1. present participle of ramper


rampant (feminine singular rampante, masculine plural rampants, feminine plural rampantes)

  1. (heraldry) rampant
  2. (architecture) tilted
  3. humbly inclined
  4. (botany) extending over the ground rather then climbing upward
  5. (literature) base; common
  6. (military) stranded on the ground as opposed to flying staff

Further reading[edit]

Old French[edit]


rampant m (oblique and nominative feminine singular rampant or rampante)

  1. (heraldry) rampant



  • English: rampant
  • French: rampant