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rigor mortis

[rig-er mawr-tis, or, esp. British, rahy-gawr] /ˈrɪg ər ˈmɔr tɪs, or, esp. British, ˈraɪ gɔr/
noun
1.
the stiffening of the body after death.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40; < Latin: literally, stiffness of death
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for rigor mortises

rigor mortis

/ˈrɪɡə ˈmɔːtɪs/
noun
1.
(pathol) the stiffness of joints and muscular rigidity of a dead body, caused by depletion of ATP in the tissues. It begins two to four hours after death and lasts up to about four days, after which the muscles and joints relax
Word Origin
C19: Latin, literally: rigidity of death
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for rigor mortises

rigor mortis

"stiffening of the body caused by contraction of muscles after death," 1837, from Latin rigor "stiffness" (see rigor) + mortis, genitive of mors "death" (see mortal).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rigor mortises in Medicine

rigor mortis rigor mor·tis (môr'tĭs)
n.
Muscular stiffening following death. Also called postmortem rigidity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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rigor mortises in Science
rigor mortis
  (rĭg'ər môr'tĭs)   
Muscular stiffening following death, resulting from the unavailability of energy needed to interrupt contraction of the muscle fibers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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rigor mortises in Culture
rigor mortis [(rig-uhr mawr-tis)]

Stiffening of the muscles of the body that occurs after death. Rigor mortis is Latin for “stiffness of death.”

Note: Figuratively, rigor mortis refers to an absence of flexibility or vitality: “By the time the school finally closed, rigor mortis had set in in nearly every department.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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