Definition of rigmarole in English:



  • 1A lengthy and complicated procedure.

    ‘he went through the rigmarole of securing the front door’
    • ‘We ought to learn business like everybody else, go through the same rigmarole.’
    • ‘I'd been on boats where people went diving, and I'd watched the rigmarole of getting kitted up in diving gear.’
    • ‘I went through this rigmarole for the next hour or so.’
    • ‘I would need to go through the rigmarole of applying for both accounts.’
    • ‘So you quickly tire of having to go through the rigmarole.’
    • ‘The pomposity and rigmarole they put directors through is astounding.’
    • ‘If we'd gone much further it would have been dark before we finished all this rigmarole.’
    • ‘Howard had been through the rigmarole of selling a company many times.’
    • ‘But then came the page banners and pop-up ads and the whole rigmarole started all over again.’
    • ‘He didn't know why he bothered with this rigmarole.’
    • ‘They should just take less tax from us instead of making us go through months of rigmarole for nothing!’
    • ‘I couldn't focus on an abstract location, so I focused on the last place I remember clearest before this whole rigmarole started.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It took quite a time of fiddling about before I found a comfortable position and then, in cases where driving is shared, the whole rigmarole has to be endured all over again when you get back behind the wheel.’
    lengthy process, fuss, fuss and bother, bother, commotion, trouble, folderol, ado, pother
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    1. 1.1A long, rambling story or statement.
      ‘she went into a long rigmarole about the different jobs she'd had’
      • ‘So aleatoric poetry could be described with historical exactitude as 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      lengthy explanation, lengthy story, saga, yarn, recitation, burble, burbling, maundering, shaggy-dog story
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Mid 18th century: apparently an alteration of ragman roll, originally denoting a legal document recording a list of offences.