verb (used without object)

  1. to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave: The demagogue ranted for hours.

verb (used with object)

  1. to utter or declaim in a ranting manner.


  1. ranting, extravagant, or violent declamation.
  2. a ranting utterance.


  1. to utter (something) in loud, violent, or bombastic tones
  2. (intr) mainly Scot to make merry; frolic


  1. loud, declamatory, or extravagant speech; bombast
  2. mainly Scot a wild revel
  3. Scot an energetic dance or its tune

c.1600, “to be jovial and boisterous,” also “to talk bombastically,” from Dutch randten (earlier ranten) “talk foolishly, rave,” of unknown origin (cf. German rantzen “to frolic, spring about”). Related: Ranted; ranting. Ranters “antinomian sect which arose in England c.1645” is attested from 1651; applied 1823 to early Methodists. A 1700 slang dictionary has rantipole “a rude wild Boy or Girl” (also as a verb and adjective); to ride rantipole meant “The woman uppermost in the amorous congress” [Grose].


“boisterous, empty declamation; fierce or high-sounding language without much meaning or dignity of thought; bombast; a ranting speech,” 1640s, from rant (v.).

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