1. (noun) A lengthy, complicated, and often confusing procedure or series of steps. It can also describe a long, rambling story or explanation that is needlessly complex or tedious.


Applying for a passport turned into a frustrating rigmarole of endless forms, multiple visits to government offices, and seemingly pointless bureaucratic requirements.

Fun Fact

The word “rigmarole” evolved from “ragman roll,” a reference to a medieval English legal document that had many long lists attached to it by strings. The complexity of these documents led to the term being used for any convoluted process or explanation.