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

Federal unions vigorously disagree that the current system is too rigid. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "Pay freeze, retirement cuts trump discussion of president’s management agenda," 18 May 2018 Zimmermann and cinematographer Gerald Kerkletz, most famous for his work on Cannes competition title Michael from Markus Schleinzer, enforce their rigid formal choice throughout, which imparts a sense of detached and almost objective calmness. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Walden': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 12 July 2018 As a result, Wimbledon officials are forced to relax their rigid rules of Centre Court that hold that spectators must switch off their phones and devices during play. Sam Farmer, latimes.com, "England riding high on World Cup success as Wimbledon also creates a racket," 11 July 2018 Such social restrictions become more rigid higher up the caste hierarchy. The Economist, "Culture and the labour market keep India’s women at home," 5 July 2018 But where Edgerton’s rigid rules form an incontestable hierarchy that ultimately undermines his entire family, Krasinski’s character clearly shares equally with his wife the burden of protecting and providing for his family. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why A Quiet Place is the apocalyptic movie America needed," 27 Apr. 2018 Furthermore, the culture will likely have a rigid pecking order that undermines teamwork and flow. Linda Clark-santos, idahostatesman, "Designing your organization for competitive edge, part 2 – layers determine efficiency | Idaho Statesman," 20 Mar. 2018 The Justice Department argued against China in the case, saying courts shouldn’t be so rigid in deferring to the Chinese position. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Supreme Court Revives Price-Fixing Case Against Chinese Vitamin C Makers," 14 June 2018 Every family has idiosyncratic customs, but the Windsors' are particularly rigid. refinery29.com, "15 Things Meghan Markle Can't Do Now That She’s A Royal," 15 May 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

10 Nov 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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Comments on rigid

What made you want to look up rigid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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