AskDefine | Define rigmarole

Dictionary Definition



1 a set of confused and meaningless statements [syn: rigamarole]
2 a long and complicated and confusing procedure; "all that academic rigmarole was a waste of time" [syn: rigamarole]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  • italbrac RP /ˈrɪgmərəʊl/
  • italbrac US /ˈrɪgməroʊl/


  1. complex, obsolete procedures; excess steps or activity; needless motion
    Have you seen all the rigmarole you have to go through at airport security these days?
  2. nonsense; confused and incoherent talk.
    1895 — In comes Mitaiele to Lloyd, and told some rigmarole about Paatalise (the steward's name) wanting to go and see his family in the bush. — Robert Luois Stevenson, The Valima Letters, ch XIX


*1854 — Henry David Thoreau, Walden, ch VII
  • While you are planting the seed, he cries -- "Drop it, drop it -- cover it up, cover it up -- pull it up, pull it up, pull it up." But this was not corn, and so it was safe from such enemies as he. You may wonder what his rigmarole, his amateur Paganini performances on one string or on twenty, have to do with your planting, and yet prefer it to leached ashes or plaster.
  • 1880 — Rosina Bulwer Lytton, A Blighted Life, sxn 4
    His reply did not even allude to the subject, but was a rigmarole about the weather; as if he had been writing to an idiot, who did not require a rational answer to any question they had asked.
  • 1910 — A. E. W. Mason, At the Villa Rose, ch XVII
    "I am only the living gate by which the spirit forms pass from the realm of mind into the world of matter," Celia replied."Quite so," said Adele comfortably. "Now let us be sensible and dine. We can amuse ourselves with mademoiselle's rigmaroles afterwards."
  • 1915 — John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps, ch 1
    He seemed to brace himself for a great effort, and then started on the queerest rigmarole.


complex obsolete procedure
nonsense talk

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absurdity, amphigory, babble, babblement, balderdash, bibble-babble, blabber, blather, bombast, claptrap, double-talk, drivel, drool, fiddle-faddle, fiddledeedee, flummery, folderol, fudge, fustian, gabble, galimatias, gammon, gibber, gibberish, gibble-gabble, gobbledygook, hocus-pocus, humbug, jabber, jargon, mumbo jumbo, narrishkeit, niaiserie, nonsense, pack of nonsense, palaver, prate, prattle, rant, rigamarole, rodomontade, rubbish, skimble-skamble, stuff and nonsense, stultiloquence, trash, trumpery, twaddle, twattle, twiddle-twaddle, vaporing, waffling
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1