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[rij-id] /ˈrɪdʒ ɪd/
stiff or unyielding; not pliant or flexible; hard:
a rigid strip of metal.
firmly fixed or set.
inflexible, strict, or severe:
a rigid disciplinarian; rigid rules of social behavior.
exacting; thorough; rigorous:
a rigid examination.
so as to meet precise standards; stringent:
lenses ground to rigid specifications.
Mechanics. of, relating to, or noting a body in which the distance between any pair of points remains fixed under all forces; having infinite values for its shear modulus, bulk modulus, and Young's modulus.
  1. (of an airship or dirigible) having a form maintained by a stiff, unyielding structure contained within the envelope.
  2. pertaining to a helicopter rotor that is held fixedly at its root.
Origin of rigid
1530-40; < Latin rigidus, equivalent to rig(ēre) to be stiff, stiffen + -idus -id4
Related forms
rigidity, rigidness, noun
rigidly, adverb
overrigid, adjective
overrigidly, adverb
overrigidness, noun
overrigidity, noun
subrigid, adjective
subrigidly, adverb
subrigidness, noun
subrigidity, noun
unrigid, adjective
unrigidly, adverb
unrigidness, noun
1. unbending, firm, inflexible. 2. immovable, static. 3. austere, stern, unyielding. See strict. 4, 5. demanding.
1. elastic. 3. lax. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rigid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There's no rigid line of demarcation between insanity and hysteria.

    The Professor's Mystery Wells Hastings
  • Bchamp had grown white to the lips: he was rigid with the effort to control himself.

    Coming Home Edith Wharton
  • This rigid observance fell with special force and restriction on children.

    Child Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • The uses of rigid etiquette were well understood by Bonaparte.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • Perhaps a slight visionariness of speculation was no less the attribute of Mrs. Mill than an absence of rigid logical principles.

    On Liberty John Stuart Mill
British Dictionary definitions for rigid


not bending; physically inflexible or stiff: a rigid piece of plastic
unbending; rigorously strict; severe: rigid rules
completely or excessively: the lecture bored him rigid
Derived Forms
rigidly, adverb
rigidity, rigidness, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for rigid

early 15c., from Latin rigidus "hard, stiff, rough, severe," from rigere "be stiff," from PIE *reig- "stretch (tight), bind tightly, make fast" (cf. Old Irish riag "torture," Middle High German ric "band, string"). Related: Rigidly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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