Definition of rigmarole
1 : confused or meaningless talk
2 : a complex and sometimes ritualistic procedure
rigmarole was our Word of the Day on 09/01/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of rigmarole in a Sentence
We had to go through the rigmarole of installing, registering, and activating the software before we found out it wouldn't work.
He just told us what to do without all the usual rigamarole.
Recent Examples of rigmarole from the Web
After several hours on set and quite the rigmarole, Carey's guest appearance was nixed.
Amazon Music Unlimited offers a free 30-day trial to all new users, but the promotional rigmarole automatically gives you a $10 credit towards a second month's subscription.
Science Says: This is the fastest method for cooling a bottle of wine quickly, but also a bit of a rigmarole.
Wine is intimidating enough without saddling it with pointless rigmarole.
These artists are learning ways to access committed audiences without the usual rigmarole of being a creator online.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rigmarole.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In the Middle Ages, the term Rageman or Ragman referred to a game in which a player randomly selected a string attached to a roll of verses and read the selected verse. The roll was called a Ragman roll after a fictional king purported to be the author of the verses. By the 16th century, ragman and ragman roll were being used figuratively to mean "a list or catalog." Both terms fell out of written use, but ragman roll persisted in speech, and in the 18th century it resurfaced in writing as rigmarole, with the meaning "a succession of confused, meaningless, or foolish statements." In the mid-19th century rigmarole (also spelled rigamarole, reflecting its common pronunciation) acquired its most recent sense, "a complex and ritualistic procedure."
Origin and Etymology of rigmarole
alteration of obsolete ragman roll long list, catalog
First Known Use: circa 1736See Words from the same year
RIGMAROLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rigmarole for English Language Learners
: a long, complicated, and annoying process, description, etc.
RIGMAROLE Defined for Kids
Definition of rigmarole for Students
1 : a long and usually meaningless or uninteresting story
2 : a complicated and often unnecessary procedure
Seen and Heard
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