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rigmarole is a long and complicated process or story. One can be put through a rigmarole if a process is made difficult intentionally.

Because of the sometimes added spoken syllable (e.g., /ˈriɡ(ə)məˌrōl/), the term is commonly misspelled as rigamarole. It should be noted that some dictionaries do list rigamarole as an alternate spelling, but it is not universally accepted.

The plural is rigmaroles, though the term is usually used in the singular form.

Rigmarole comes as an alteration to the phrase ragman roll, which was a large collection of scrolls used by the nobility of Scotland to pledge allegiance to King Edward I. Today, the phrase ragman roll can mean any collection of legal documents. Its plural is ragman rolls.


Once you’ve gone through the rigmarole of crouching through shadows to procure the gun, the rest of the first chapter can basically be beaten by running up to enemies and shooting them point blank. [ABC Tech]

I meant it as a reminder of the thing we all know — our days here are breathtakingly short so carpe diem and all of that — yet in the rigmarole of life tend to forget. [The Chronicle Herald]

Point is, Mom and Dad signed up with a tour, got a good look at the place (with little rigmarole), snapped some photos and moved on. [Star Tribune]

Jeunet’s recent career fills you with dread as to how his Pi might have turned out: Micmacs (2009) and T. S. Spivet (2014) were both fiddly, unloveable rigmaroles, and neither found an audience. [The Telegraph]