[ rig-er ]
/ ˈrɪg ər /
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Also especially British, rig·our .

Origin of rigor

1350–1400; Middle English rigour<Latin rigor stiffness, equivalent to rig(ēre) to be stiff + -or-or1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is rigor?

Rigor is strictness and inflexibility, as in The military academy was known for its dedication to perfection, discipline, and rigor.

Rigor is also hardship or austerity, as in Young soldiers are rarely ready to handle the rigors of war.

Rigor can also refer to a strict accuracy, as with scientific experiments.

If a teacher is known for their rigor, they are very strict about things like students finishing all their homework and are likely to punish students who don’t follow the rules. A person known for rigor is likely to support punishments for people who misbehave rather than rewards for people who behave.

Rigor can also mean a condition that makes life harder, such as living without electricity. When referring to austerity, can mean living without a lot of things that make life pleasant, like takeout food, video games, and traveling.

Finally, rigor can mean strict accuracy or precision, as in The report on water pollution was commended for its scientific rigor.

In British English, this word is commonly spelled as rigour.

The adjective form of rigor is rigorous and it is most often used to mean something is very harsh or full of difficulties, as in It takes years of rigorous training to be an Olympic athlete.

Example: We nearly froze as we huddled in the log cabin and suffered through the rigors of the harsh, unforgiving winter.

Where does rigor come from?

The first records of rigor come from around 1350. It ultimately comes from the Latin rigēre, meaning “to be stiff.” If a person is known for their rigor, they are known for being inflexible in their beliefs, opinions, or actions.

If you watch a lot of murder mysterious or are familiar with medicine, you have likely heard the Latin rigor used in the term rigor mortis, meaning a stiffening of the body after death.

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What are some other forms related to rigor?

What are some synonyms for rigor?

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

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

How is rigor used in real life?

Rigor is most often used to mean strictness or hardship.

Try using rigor!

True or False?

A teacher who is known for their rigor will let students do whatever they want and will rarely punish them.

How to use rigor in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rigor

/ (ˈraɪɡɔː, ˈrɪɡə) /

med a sudden feeling of chilliness, often accompanied by shivering: it sometimes precedes a fever
(ˈrɪɡə) pathol rigidity of a muscle; muscular cramp
a state of rigidity assumed by some animals in reaction to sudden shock
the inertia assumed by some plants in conditions unfavourable to growth

Word Origin for rigor

see rigour
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