rig·​ging | \ˈri-giŋ, -gən\

Definition of rigging 

1a : lines and chains used aboard a ship especially in working sail and supporting masts and spars

b : a similar network (as in theater scenery) used for support and manipulation

2 : clothing

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Examples of rigging in a Sentence

They checked the rigging before they set sail. even at the Ivies they dress in the standard rigging of the college student: T-shirt and jeans

Recent Examples on the Web

Officials also stress that there is no evidence — in 2016 or 2018 — that the rigging of actual ballot numbers has been the intended goal of meddling efforts. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 The electoral commission, which was a respondent in the case, has rejected the allegations of vote rigging. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Zimbabwe Court Confirms Mnangagwa’s Victory," 24 Aug. 2018 In 2016, three Humvees plummeted to Earth after a Army sergeant cut the rigging that held the vehicles to their parachutes. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Air Force Accidentally Drops Humvee on Civilian Neighborhood," 25 Oct. 2018 But two years later, a very real and outrageous case of election rigging appears to be well under way in the Georgia gubernatorial race. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Stacey Abrams Is Fighting Back Against Voter Suppression in Georgia," 11 Oct. 2018 Trump, whose travel ban was later upheld by the Supreme Court, has long considered Google as biased against conservatives and recently accused the company of rigging search results in the past. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Google staffers wanted to manipulate search results to combat Trump's travel ban, emails show," 21 Sep. 2018 Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by allegations of widespread rigging. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "On Eve of Zimbabwe’s Election, Mugabe Rails Against an Old Friend," 29 July 2018 Buy Photo Some local investors are finally receiving payback from banks that cheated customers in an interest-rate rigging scandal, and the money is being returned courtesy of the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, "AG Shapiro: Pa. investors get back money from interest-rate rigging," 19 June 2018 The opposition is even, for the first time, organizing an operation to count the entire national vote independently, to counter any attempt at vote rigging. New York Times, "Turkish Opposition Hopes 4 Parties Are Mightier Than 1 Against Erdogan," 9 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rigging.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rigging

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rigging

Middle English ragging, riggyng fitting out of a ship

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Statistics for rigging

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rigging

The first known use of rigging was in 1594

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More Definitions for rigging



English Language Learners Definition of rigging

: the ropes and chains that are used on a ship to help support the masts and sails

: equipment that is used for supporting and using lights, curtains, etc., in a theater


rig·​ging | \ˈri-giŋ \

Kids Definition of rigging

: lines and chains used on a ship to help support the masts and sails

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Comments on rigging

What made you want to look up rigging? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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