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[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.
Also, especially British, rigour.
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 rigors
  • The next morning she had severe rigors, and in forty-eight hours she was a corpse.
  • But the deep-sea cages must be built to withstand the rigors of the deep ocean.
  • But without the rigors of everyday life, which often demand an answer, the debates of academia lack any governor on them at all.
  • UL also tests the products' capacity to stand up to the rigors of home use.
  • If this clumsy undiscriminating approach were applied to the rigors of science it could hardly yield any useful results.
  • He also needed to build a projector that could withstand the rigors of turbulence and be light enough to mount on a plane.
  • Movies are notoriously bad at showing the pleasures and rigors of art-making, even when the medium is familiar.
  • You, however, display an alarming disconnect from both the reality and the rigors of logic.
  • His main concern is getting bigger to withstand the rigors of the entire year and to stay healthy.
  • The rigors of working so frequently in such pressure-laden situations, some coaches say, are resulting in bad calls.
British Dictionary definitions for rigors


/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 rigors



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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rigors 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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