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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce rigmarole (audio)

Dictionary definition of rigmarole

A lengthy, confusing, and often tedious or nonsensical procedure, process, or set of actions.
"The legal rigmarole made the process of filing for bankruptcy even more stressful."

Detailed meaning of rigmarole

It is typically characterized by unnecessary complexity, repetition, or formalities, making it tiresome or frustrating to deal with. Rigmaroles are often encountered in bureaucratic or administrative contexts, where intricate and convoluted protocols or paperwork can be perceived as burdensome and time-consuming. This term conveys a sense of frustration or annoyance at having to navigate through something that seems unnecessarily complicated or drawn-out, often with the feeling that it could be simplified or streamlined for greater efficiency. In everyday language, "rigmarole" is also used to describe any situation or story that is overly long and detailed, often with irrelevant or tangential elements.

Example sentences containing rigmarole

1. Dealing with the bureaucracy was a tiresome rigmarole.
2. The complicated paperwork turned into a legal rigmarole.
3. Navigating the airport security was a tedious rigmarole.
4. The interview process felt like a never-ending rigmarole.
5. Filling out the tax forms was a mind-numbing rigmarole.
6. The visa application process is often a bureaucratic rigmarole.

History and etymology of rigmarole

The noun 'rigmarole' has a somewhat uncertain etymology, but it is believed to have originated in the 18th century in English. It may be related to the older term 'ragman roll,' which referred to a long list or catalog. 'Ragman roll' itself was influenced by the Medieval Latin phrase 'ragman,' which was a legal document containing a list of offenses. Over time, 'rigmarole' evolved to describe a lengthy, confusing, and often tedious or nonsensical procedure, process, or set of actions. It suggests a convoluted or rambling series of steps or explanations, much like the winding lists or documents it may have originally referred to. Despite its somewhat uncertain etymology, 'rigmarole' effectively conveys the idea of complexity and confusion in a procedure or process.

Quiz: Find the meaning of rigmarole

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Further usage examples of rigmarole

1. Untangling the red tape became a never-ending rigmarole.
2. The committee's decision-making turned into a political rigmarole.
3. The insurance claims process can be a frustrating rigmarole.
4. The maze of regulations felt like a regulatory rigmarole.
5. Settling the dispute turned into a legal rigmarole.
6. Registering for the event involved a registration rigmarole.
7. The government's procurement process was a procurement rigmarole.
8. The customer service call turned into a phone rigmarole.
9. The permit application process felt like a permit rigmarole.
10. Navigating the healthcare system can be a healthcare rigmarole.
11. Dealing with the DMV often feels like a DMV rigmarole.
12. Getting approval from the board was a board rigmarole.
13. Solving the technical issue became a technical rigmarole.
14. The university's admissions process was an admissions rigmarole.
15. I'm tired of going through this rigmarole every time I visit the bank.
16. The paperwork involved in buying a house is a real rigmarole.
17. The boss's instructions were a confusing rigmarole of jargon and technical terms.
18. I had to listen to a long rigmarole from the customer service representative.
19. She went through a rigmarole of applying for a visa to visit the country.
20. The politician's speech was filled with a rigmarole of promises and vague statements.
21. The company's hiring process was a rigmarole of interviews and tests.
22. The instructions for assembling the furniture were a real rigmarole.
23. The artist's work was dismissed by critics as a pretentious rigmarole.
24. The student had to go through a rigmarole of appeals to have their grade changed.
25. The process of filing taxes is often seen as a complicated rigmarole.



fuss, simplicity, straightforwardness, directness


Complexity and Intricacy, Gloom and Unpleasantness, Puzzlement and Perplexity

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