rampant

Rampant means wild, out of control, to be up on your hind legs roaring at the world. You don't have to be four-legged: "The children ran rampant at the supermarket even though their mother tried to control them."

If you're running rampant, you're on a rampage. Both come from the French word ramper meaning "to climb, creep" like an animal on hind legs, paws in climbing-mode, or like wild plants such as the kudzu that ran rampant over an old barn until the entire thing was covered. There can also be rampant wildfires that destroy houses in the Southwest, or robots that run rampant in the lab after the janitor accidentally sets them free.

Primary Meanings of rampant

1.
adj
unrestrained and violent
2.
adj
(of a plant) having a lush and unchecked growth
Full Definitions of rampant
1

adj unrestrained and violent

rampant aggression”
Synonyms:
uncontrolled
not being under control; out of control

adj rearing on left hind leg with forelegs elevated and head usually in profile

“a lion rampant
Synonyms:
rearing
erect, upright, vertical
upright in position or posture
2

adj (of a plant) having a lush and unchecked growth

“a rampant growth of weeds”
Synonyms:
abundant
present in great quantity

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.