ri·gid·i·ty | \rə-ˈji-də-tē \
plural rigidities

Definition of rigidity 

1 : the quality or state of being rigid

2 : one that is rigid (as in form or conduct)

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Examples of rigidity in a Sentence

sometimes the rigidity of the headmaster's discipline was deemed excessive by even much of the faculty

Recent Examples on the Web

The disease causes tremors, walking and balance problems, and muscle rigidity. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell announces he has Parkinson's disease," 18 June 2018 Other scientists confirmed that dopamine is depleted in people with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative condition that causes tremors and rigidity, and L-dopa soon became the standard treatment for the illness. Denise Gellene, BostonGlobe.com, "Arvid Carlsson, 95; discovered a treatment for Parkinson’s," 2 July 2018 The England team, still in thrall to the rigidity imposed by their W-M formation, were undone by Hungary’s fluid movement and by a centre forward that refused to stand where the English expected him to. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 7 Days to Go - What if Ferenc Puskas Had Been Fully Fit?," 7 June 2018 Much of this is attributed to the rigidity of a block grant. Tara Golshan, Vox, "How a Republican plan to fix cash assistance welfare falls short," 25 May 2018 Smith wondered, though, about the rigidity of the us and them polarity in Get Out. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "Art in melting pot America: What's appropriation and what's appropriate? New movies explore," 6 July 2018 Sachs contrasted this rigidity from the Trump administration on a state’s proposal to lower drug prices with their overeagerness to allow states to institute work requirements and other restrictions on Medicaid benefits. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Another mystery in Trump’s missing promise to bring down drug prices," 2 July 2018 But the rigidity of polarized American politics isn’t accommodating of a cafeteria-line approach to political positions: There’s no taking a little from one party, a little from another, and a little from a third. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "When Betsy DeVos Comes to a Catholic Campus," 8 May 2018 Obsessive-compulsive behavior, rigidity and fear of change also occur in both people with autism and those with OCD, suggesting that autistic females might also be hidden in this group. Maia Szalavitz, Scientific American, "Autism—It's Different in Girls," 1 Mar. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rigidity.' 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 rigidity

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2018

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The first known use of rigidity was in 1624

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More Definitions for rigidity


ri·gid·i·ty | \rə-ˈjid-ət-ē \
plural rigidities

Medical Definition of rigidity 

: the quality or state of being rigid: as

a : abnormal stiffness of muscle muscle rigidity symptomatic of Parkinson's disease— Diane Gershon

b : emotional inflexibility and resistance to change

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