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

Last month, a former chief executive of the company, Martin Winterkorn, was charged with conspiracy over the emissions rigging. New York Times, "Volkswagen Vows to End Experiments on Animals," 4 June 2018 On the title screen, a pixelated moon hangs white and singular behind the rigging of the ship, its light shimmering on the water of an impossibly dark sea. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Why Return of the Obra Dinn is my game of the year," 21 Dec. 2018 Australia’s largest bank, Commonwealth Bank, has been penalized for alleged interest-rate rigging and compliance breaches that the government said allowed its automated banking machines to be used for money laundering. Rob Taylor, WSJ, "Australia’s Banks Pursued Profits Over Integrity, Probe Finds," 28 Sep. 2018 People were just setting up the rigging and bringing in the flooring. John Kelly, Washington Post, "This orthopedic surgeon loved the circus so much, he bought one," 11 Mar. 2018 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

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

9 Feb 2019

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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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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