rig·​id ˈri-jəd How to pronounce rigid (audio)
: deficient in or devoid of flexibility
rigid price controls
a rigid bar of metal
: appearing stiff and unyielding
his face rigid with pain
: inflexibly set in opinion
: strictly observed
adheres to a rigid schedule
: firmly inflexible rather than lax or indulgent
a rigid disciplinarian
: precise and accurate in procedure
rigid control of the manufacturing process
of an airship : having the outer shape maintained by a fixed framework
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 As automation streamlines the digital workplace, the focus shifts from rigid job duties to emphasizing skills over tasks, especially as roles may evolve faster than they can be updated. Committee Of 200, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Non-stretch rigid denim and an old-school button fly contribute to the authentic appeal—these definitely have an heirloom quality. Paula Lee, Glamour, 9 Feb. 2024 Oddy was just as meticulous in re-creating Hedwig’s garden, which adopts a utilitarian design with its rigid pathways and carefully planted greenery. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, 30 Jan. 2024 Imposing a cold and rigid approach to dating (and love in general) can leave little room to be vulnerable or to weather healthy conflicts that can strengthen interpersonal bonds. Gina Cherelus, New York Times, 18 Jan. 2024 The lack of boot vents keeps the skates rigid for more powerful skating. Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, 26 Jan. 2024 These modules will be rigid metallic structures, not inflatable ones. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 23 Jan. 2024 Moffett Field was established as a West Coast base for the nation’s rigid airship program, and Hangar One’s celebrated tenant, the Macon, arrived in 1933. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, 23 Jan. 2024 These styles usually have a wide toe box area, a comfortable heel counter (a piece of more rigid material that maintains the shape of the shoe around the back of your foot and your Achilles tendon), and excellent support in the midsole to keep arches from collapsing. Kristine Thomason, SELF, 22 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rigid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rigid

Cite this Entry

“Rigid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rigid. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


rig·​id ˈrij-əd How to pronounce rigid (audio)
: not flexible : stiff, hard
: very fixed in one's opinion or habits : unyielding
: carefully observed : scrupulous
follows a rigid exercise program
: exact and accurate in procedure
rigidness noun

from Latin rigidus, "rigid," from rigēre "to be stiff" — related to rigor mortis

Medical Definition


rig·​id ˈrij-əd How to pronounce rigid (audio)
: deficient in or devoid of flexibility : characterized by stiffness
rigid muscles

More from Merriam-Webster on rigid

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