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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 rigidity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The face of the great general, usually masking so completely his strongest feelings, lost now its rigidity.

  • Cody's planes are noted for their neatness, rigidity and smoothness.

    Flying Machines W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
  • The grayness and the rigidity of her features clashed bizarrely with the brilliant coloring of her gown.

    The Gray Phantom Herman Landon
  • In certain cases, however, the instinct loses its rigidity and automatism.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • Whether or not it does work on another body depends on the rigidity of the body it acts upon.

    The Machinery of the Universe Amos Emerson Dolbear
British Dictionary definitions for rigidity


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 rigidity

1620s, from Latin rigiditas "stiffness," from rigidus (see 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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rigidity in Medicine

rigidity ri·gid·i·ty (rĭ-jĭd'ĭ-tē)

  1. The quality or state of stiffness or inflexibility. Also called rigor.

  2. An aspect of the personality characterized by resistance to change.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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