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or (especially British) rigour

[rig-er] /ˈrɪg ər/
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.
Origin of rigor
1350-1400; Middle English rigour < Latin rigor stiffness, equivalent to rig(ēre) to be stiff + -or -or1
1. inflexibility, stringency. 4. cruelty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rigor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The whole code of his injunctions was subsequently disclosed to the family in all its extent and rigor.

    Going To Maynooth William Carleton
  • Then I am full of regret for you, because—because I know the rigor of police discipline.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • The Baptist had been a scrupulous observer of the law; his strict asceticism vied with the rigor of Pharisaic profession.

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • 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
  • The flesh had become cold and rigor mortis was beginning to set in.

British Dictionary definitions for rigor


/ˈraɪɡɔː; ˈrɪɡə/
(med) a sudden feeling of chilliness, often accompanied by shivering: it sometimes precedes a fever
(pathol) (ˈrɪɡə). 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
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
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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
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rigor in Medicine

rigor rig·or (rĭg'ər)

  1. See rigidity.

  2. Shivering or trembling, as caused by a chill.

  3. 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.
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