Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[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
First recorded in 1730-40; alteration of ragman roll Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for rigmarole
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for rigmarole

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for rigmarole

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for rigmarole