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[rig-muh-rohl] /ˈrɪg məˌroʊl/
an elaborate or complicated procedure:
to go through the rigmarole of a formal dinner.
confused, incoherent, foolish, or meaningless talk.
Also, rigamarole.
Origin of rigmarole
1730-40; alteration of ragman roll Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rigmarole
  • The beauty of this match was its intensity without rigmarole or ritual.
  • Take the rigmarole it puts users through when they wish to close an account.
  • Then there was all the rigmarole involving street names and zip codes.
  • Take oil pricing, a complex statist rigmarole that had been moving from the hands of government to those of a regulator.
  • The government's plan to perpetuate itself in office, via the traditional electoral rigmarole, is likely to go ahead.
  • If one has a connecting flight, you still have to through the customs rigmarole.
  • Some darn good people left because they didn't want to go through this whole rigmarole.
British Dictionary definitions for rigmarole


any long complicated procedure
a set of incoherent or pointless statements; garbled nonsense
Word Origin
C18: from earlier ragman roll a list, probably a roll used in a medieval game, wherein various characters were described in verse, beginning with Ragemon le bon Ragman the good
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 rigmarole

1736, "a long, rambling discourse," apparently from an altered, Kentish colloquial survival of ragman roll "long list or catalogue" (1520s), in Middle English a long roll of verses descriptive of personal characters, used in a medieval game of chance called Rageman, perhaps from Anglo-French Ragemon le bon "Ragemon the good," which was the heading on one set of the verses, referring to a character by that name. Sense transferred to "foolish activity or commotion" by 1939.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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