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[rig] /rɪg/
verb (used with object), rigged, rigging.
Chiefly Nautical.
  1. to put in proper order for working or use.
  2. to fit (a ship, mast, etc.) with the necessary shrouds, stays, etc.
  3. to fit (shrouds, stays, sails, etc.) to the mast, yard, or the like.
to furnish or provide with equipment, clothing, etc.; fit (usually followed by out or up).
to assemble, install, or prepare (often followed by up).
to manipulate fraudulently:
to rig prices.
the arrangement of the masts, spars, sails, etc., on a boat or ship.
apparatus for some purpose; equipment; outfit; gear:
a hi-fi rig; Bring your rod and reel and all the rest of your fishing rig.
Also called drill rig. the equipment used in drilling an oil well.
any combination trucking unit in which vehicles are hooked together, as a tractor-trailer.
any kind of truck.
a carriage, buckboard, sulky, or wagon together with the horse or horses that draw it.
Informal. costume or dress, especially when odd or conspicuous, or when designated for a particular purpose:
He looks quite nifty in a butler's rig.
Verb phrases
rig down, Nautical. to place in an inactive state, stowing all lines, tackles, and other removable parts.
rig up, to equip or set up for use.
Origin of rig
1480-90; 1930-35 for def 4; probably < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian, Swedish rigg (noun), rigga (v.)
Related forms
outrig, verb (used with object), outrigged, outrigging.
overrigged, adjective
underrigged, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rig
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You rig this thing on the camera, which is loaded with infrared film.

    Smugglers' Reef John Blaine
  • "I'll send the rig in, t'morrow, if there's anything yuh want," he remarked.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • Scotty, suppose you get the binoculars for Barby, then rig up a fan.

  • But, as you need him, I suppose I must get my rig and driver somewhere else.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The poetical similes used in the rig Vedas have been transformed into mythological tales.

    The Religions of Japan William Elliot Griffis
British Dictionary definitions for rig


verb (transitive) rigs, rigging, rigged
(nautical) to equip (a vessel, mast, etc) with (sails, rigging, etc)
(nautical) to set up or prepare ready for use
to put the components of (an aircraft, etc) into their correct positions
to manipulate in a fraudulent manner, esp for profit: to rig prices, to rig an election
(nautical) the distinctive arrangement of the sails, masts, and other spars of a vessel
the installation used in drilling for and exploiting natural oil and gas deposits: an oil rig In full drilling rig
apparatus or equipment; gear
an amateur radio operator's transmitting and receiving set
(US & Canadian) a carriage together with one or more horses
(mainly US & Canadian) an articulated lorry
See also rig down, rig out, rig up
Word Origin
C15: from Scandinavian; related to Norwegian rigga to wrap


(Scot & Northern English, dialect) a ridge or raised strip of unploughed land in a ploughed field
Word Origin
a variant of ridge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rig

late 15c., originally nautical, "to fit with sails," probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish, Norwegian rigge "to equip," Swedish rigga "to rig, harness"), though these may be from English; perhaps ultimately from PIE *reig- "to bind." Slang meaning "to pre-arrange or tamper with results" is attested from 1938, perhaps a different word, from rig (n.) "a trick, swindle, scheme" (1775), earlier "sport, banter, ridicule" (1725), of unknown origin. Also there is rig (v.) "ransack" from 1560s, likewise of unknown origin. Related: Rigged; rigging.


"distinctive arrangement of sails, masts, etc. on a ship," 1822, from rig (v.). Extended to costume, clothing outfit (1843); horse-drawn vehicle (1831), which led to sense of "truck, bus, etc." (1851); and apparatus for well-sinking (1875).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rig



  1. (also rig-out) Clothing; outfit: How come you're wearing that rig?/ a waiter's or a chef's rig-out (1843+)
  2. A truck, bus, ambulance, etc (1930s+ Bus drivers & truckers)


To prearrange or tamper with a result or process; fix: Prizefights or horse-races have been rigged (1930s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for rig


station equipment (shortwave transmission)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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