noun Chiefly British.

Nearby words

  1. rigor,
  2. rigor mortis,
  3. rigorism,
  4. rigorous,
  5. rigorously,
  6. rigsdag,
  7. rigsdaler,
  8. riis,
  9. riis, jacob august,
  10. rijeka




strictness, severity, or harshness, as in dealing with people.
the full or extreme severity of laws, rules, etc.
severity of living conditions; hardship; austerity: the rigor of wartime existence.
a severe or harsh act, circumstance, etc.
scrupulous or inflexible accuracy or adherence: the logical rigor of mathematics.
severity of weather or climate or an instance of this: the rigors of winter.
Pathology. a sudden coldness, as that preceding certain fevers; chill.
Physiology. a state of rigidity in muscle tissues during which they are unable to respond to stimuli due to the coagulation of muscle protein.
Obsolete. stiffness or rigidity.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for rigour

British Dictionary definitions for rigour


US rigor


harsh but just treatment or action
a severe or cruel circumstance; hardshipthe rigours of famine
strictness, harshness, or severity of character
strictness in judgment or conduct; rigorism
maths logic logical validity or accuracy
obsolete rigidity

Word Origin for rigour

C14: from Latin 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 rigour
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for rigour




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.