A Word A Day : Rigor

Monday, 7th April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : ríg-gor


1. unrelenting strictness or toughness in dealing with people or things and an unwillingness to make allowances

2. the application of precise and exacting standards in the doing of something

3. an experience of great hardship or difficulty ( usually used in the plural )

4. harshness of weather or climate

5. stiffness and lack of response to stimuli in body organs or tissues

6. an abrupt attack of shivering and coldness, typically marking a rise in body temperature, e.g. at the onset of fever

7. insensitivity of a plant arising from unfavorable conditions

8. MEDICINE - ( informal ) : Same as rigor mortis ( the progressive stiffening of the body that occurs several hours after death as a result of the coagulation of protein in the muscles. It usually starts to wane after about 24 hours )


14th century - Directly or via French - Latin - stiffness - rigere - be stiff


severity, strictness, harshness, intransigence, dogmatism, rigidity, intolerance, inflexibility, sternness, thoroughness, consistency, attention to detail, precision, accuracy, care, objectivity, exactitude, hardship, difficulty, hard time, difficult time, demand, stricture, restriction, adversity, trial, trouble, stiffness, rigidity, unresponsiveness, stiffening, rigor mortis


ease, elasticity, flexibility, laxness, leniency, pliability

Contextual Examples:

• Love melts the rigor which the rocks have bred. A flint will break upon a feather bed.

• The result of our having everything out was simply to reduce our situation to the last rigor of its elements.

• This book is about the rigors of wartime existence.

Related Words:

rigorousness : Noun

rigorously : Adverb

rigorous : Adjective

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