Definition of rigmarole in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈriɡ(ə)məˌrōl/


[usually in singular]
1A lengthy and complicated procedure: he went through the rigmarole of securing the front door
More example sentences
  • We ought to learn business like everybody else, go through the same rigmarole.
  • But then came the page banners and pop-up ads and the whole rigmarole started all over again.
  • They are for people who know what they want and who don't want to go through the rigmarole of talking to a sales assistant.
fuss, bother, trouble, palaver, ado, pother, song and dance, performance, to-do, pantomime, hassle, folderol
1.1A long, rambling story or statement.
Example sentences
  • So aleatoric poetry could be described with historical exactitude as a rigmarole.
  • The book is packed with stimulating philosophical (and depressingly prophetic) allusion within the author's own field, but ends up as a bit of a rigmarole.
  • The others were standing around, drinks in hand, congratulating my cousin on his initiation, and asking us amused tones what we thought of the crazy rigmarole.
tale, saga, yarn, shaggy-dog story
informal spiel


Mid 18th century: apparently an alteration of ragman roll, originally denoting a legal document recording a list of offenses.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rig·ma·role

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