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

Synonyms for rigor

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rigor

Contemporary Examples of rigor

Historical Examples of rigor

  • Then I am full of regret for you, because—because I know the rigor of police discipline.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • It was judged not proper for me to return, considering the rigor of the season.

    The Autobiography of Madame Guyon

    Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon

  • It is like an iron country, and the spirit is oppressed by its rigor and melancholy.

    O Pioneers!

    Willa Cather

  • The other patient was seized with a rigor the third morning after delivery.

    Medical Essays

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • The mine owner did not speak, but the rigor of his eyes did not relax.

    Brand Blotters

    William MacLeod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for rigor



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

Word Origin and History for rigor

late 14c., from Old French rigor "strength, hardness" (13c., Modern French rigueur), from Latin rigorem (nominative rigor) "numbness, stiffness, hardness, firmness; roughness, rudeness," from rigere "be stiff" (see rigid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rigor in Medicine




Shivering or trembling, as caused by a chill.
A state of rigidity in living tissues or organs that prevents response to stimuli.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.