Definition of rigmarole in English:



  • 1A lengthy and complicated procedure.

    ‘he went through the rigmarole of securing the front door’
    • ‘Howard had been through the rigmarole of selling a company many times.’
    • ‘I would need to go through the rigmarole of applying for both accounts.’
    • ‘They should just take less tax from us instead of making us go through months of rigmarole for nothing!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We ought to learn business like everybody else, go through the same rigmarole.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'd been on boats where people went diving, and I'd watched the rigmarole of getting kitted up in diving gear.’
    • ‘If we'd gone much further it would have been dark before we finished all this rigmarole.’
    • ‘I went through this rigmarole for the next hour or so.’
    • ‘So you quickly tire of having to go through the rigmarole.’
    • ‘The pomposity and rigmarole they put directors through is astounding.’
    • ‘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.’
    lengthy process, fuss, fuss and bother, bother, commotion, trouble, folderol, ado, pother
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    1. 1.1 A 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.