[ rij-id ]
/ ˈrɪdʒ ɪd /
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See synonyms for: rigid / rigidity / rigidly / rigidness on Thesaurus.com

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Origin of rigid

First recorded in 1530–40; from Latin rigidus, equivalent to rig(ēre) “to be stiff, stiffen” + -idus-id4

synonym study for rigid

3. See strict.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does rigid mean?

Rigid means stiff and inflexible. It can be used in both literal and figurative ways.

For example, a material like plastic might be described as rigid if it does not bend or bend easily. A person might be described as rigid if they are very strict and unwilling to bend the rules. Rules themselves can also be described as rigid if they are very strict or rigorous, as in The boarding school had a rigid set of rules designed to keep students in line. 

When used to describe a person or their personality as inflexible, rigid is almost always used negatively, as in Try not to be so rigid—you have to learn to go with the flow sometimes.

The related noun rigidity refers to the state or quality of being rigid in both literal and figurative senses.

Example: When using heavy acrylic paints, It’s best to paint on a rigid canvas so the paint won’t bleed and the canvas will hold its shape over time.

Where does rigid come from?

The first records of the word rigid come from around the mid-1500s. It comes from the Latin rigidus, from the verb rig(ēre), meaning “to be stiff” or “to stiffen.” The word rigor and rigorous are based on the same root, as is the first part of the medical term rigor mortis, which refers to the state of the body when it becomes rigid after death.

Close synonyms of rigid are inflexible, unbending, and stiff—all of which, like rigid, can also be used in both literal and figurative ways. The opposite of rigid is flexible, and it too can be used in a literal way, such as to describe bendable materials, or in a figurative way, such as to describe a person who is willing to adapt to a situation (which a rigid person is not).

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What are some other forms related to rigid?

What are some synonyms for rigid?

What are some words that share a root or word element with rigid



What are some words that often get used in discussing rigid?


How is rigid used in real life?

Rigid is commonly used in both literal and figurative ways. It’s often applied to stiff materials and inflexible people.



Try using rigid!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of rigid?

A. strict
B. stiff
C. pliant
D. firm

How to use rigid in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rigid

/ (ˈrɪdʒɪd) /

not bending; physically inflexible or stiffa rigid piece of plastic
unbending; rigorously strict; severerigid rules
completely or excessivelythe lecture bored him rigid

Derived forms of rigid

rigidly, adverbrigidity or rigidness, noun

Word Origin for rigid

C16: from Latin rigidus, from rigēre to be stiff
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