Definition of rigmarole in English:


Syllabification: rig·ma·role
Pronunciation: /ˈrig(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.
    More 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.

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