rig·id | \ ˈri-jəd \

Definition of rigid 

1a : deficient in or devoid of flexibility rigid price controls a rigid bar of metal

b : appearing stiff and unyielding his face rigid with pain

2a : inflexibly set in opinion

b : strictly observed adheres to a rigid schedule

3 : firmly inflexible rather than lax or indulgent a rigid disciplinarian

4 : precise and accurate in procedure rigid control of the manufacturing process

5 of an airship : having the outer shape maintained by a fixed framework

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Other words from rigid

rigidly adverb
rigidness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for rigid

rigid, rigorous, strict, stringent mean extremely severe or stern. rigid implies uncompromising inflexibility. rigid rules of conduct rigorous implies the imposition of hardship and difficulty. the rigorous training of recruits strict emphasizes undeviating conformity to rules, standards, or requirements. strict enforcement of the law stringent suggests severe, tight restriction or limitation. stringent standards of admission

synonyms see in addition stiff

Examples of rigid in a Sentence

The patient's legs were rigid. He is a rigid disciplinarian.

Recent Examples on the Web

An obsession with hierarchy does not make a person a totalitarian, just as a devotion to proto-eugenic thinking combined with a rigid religious morality does not make a person a Nazi. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 But acceptance of homosexuality eroded when the British settled in India, bringing with them laws that reflected a rigid, Victorian morality. New York Times, "India’s Supreme Court Considers Decriminalizing Gay Sex," 10 July 2018 Some people, the Trump administration is insinuating, are simply too powerful to be subject to the movement’s rigid moralities. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "When the White House Is a Safe Space," 6 July 2018 The lizards are vulnerable to being stunned by cooler weather, rendering them rigid and prone to dropping from trees. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Iguana invasion: Could Orlando could be next?," 5 July 2018 Asked by Stephanopoulos about that treatment, Cohen grew rigid and assured. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Michael Cohen to Trump: I will flip on you," 2 July 2018 Still, that glass vase and the organically twiggy Japanese magnolia that fill it—both rigid and expressive—have to work overtime to mediate between the split personalities of this room. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "A 21st-Century Approach to a 19th-Century Townhouse," 29 June 2018 The wire is vehemently resistant to tangling and kinks, and each earpiece feels rigid and durable. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "The Tunai Drum earphones provide an exciting listen for just $33," 30 Apr. 2018 Making one big-batch staple gives a little bit of structure to meals throughout the week, but doesn’t feel as rigid as meal prep. Christine Byrne, SELF, "8 Quick Weekday Meals From 1 Big Batch of Quinoa," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rigid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rigid

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rigid

Middle English rigide, from Latin rigidus, from rigēre to be stiff

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Statistics for rigid

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for rigid

The first known use of rigid was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for rigid



English Language Learners Definition of rigid

: not able to be bent easily

: not easily changed

: not willing to change opinions or behavior


rig·id | \ ˈri-jəd \

Kids Definition of rigid

1 : not flexible : stiff rigid plastic

2 : strict sense 2, severe rigid discipline

Other words from rigid

rigidly adverb


rig·id | \ ˈrij-əd \

Medical Definition of rigid 

: deficient in or devoid of flexibility : characterized by stiffness rigid muscles

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