rigor

noun
rig·​or | \ ˈri-gər How to pronounce rigor (audio) \

Definition of rigor

1a(1) : harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment : severity The least one might observe is that this muddle of moralism and laxity, extreme rigor and casual permissiveness, arduous altruism and nonchalant selfishness, has consequences.— Peter Berkowitz
(2) : the quality of being unyielding or inflexible : strictness Their abandonment of this terminology is part of an effort to soften the rigor of some of the rigid consequences thought to flow from the mechanical application of this dichotomy.— John D. Calamari and Joseph M. Perillo
(3) : severity of life : austerity … a moral rigor and growth that might help this country.— Stanley Kauffmann
b : an act or instance of strictness, severity, or cruelty … the humanist must recognize the normality, the practical necessity of the very rigors he is trying to soften and correct.— Hermann J. Muller
2 : a tremor caused by a chill This young woman presented at the hospital with severe abdominal pain and signs of infection, including fever, rigor, and leukocytosis.— Robert E. Scully et al.
3 : a condition that makes life difficult, challenging, or uncomfortable especially : extremity of cold the rigors of a New England winter
4 : strict precision : exactness logical rigor Tentatively one might suggest that what characterizes science is the rigor of its methodology …— Ernst Mayr
5a obsolete : rigidity, stiffness
b : rigidness or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli
c : rigor mortis A fish has its best flavor and texture when cooked while just coming out of rigor.— Jane Daniels Lear

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Examples of rigor in a Sentence

They underwent the rigors of military training. the rigors of life in the wilderness They conducted the experiments with scientific rigor. a scholar known for her intellectual rigor
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Recent Examples on the Web

Photojournalist Sam Hodgson discusses this week’s story about the rigors of San Diego Fire-Rescue’s training academy and the challenges the department faces in recruiting and retaining firefighters. Sam Hodgson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Back story: Why we spent 16 weeks inside San Diego’s fire academy," 5 Sep. 2019 The show seems to organize itself around at least two themes: the sensate body and the rigors of geometry. Exemplifying the former are three works by the venerable Barbara Hammer, a pioneer in representing lesbian sensuality, who died this year. Sharon Mizota, Los Angeles Times, "For these 20 women artists, ‘Rapunzel’ and ‘Dyketactics’ are just the beginning," 16 Aug. 2019 But just in time for the weekend, and the satisfaction of so many who had failed to flee the rigors of August in Washington, Saturday showed up with a high temperature of 85 degrees. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Too hot it was not on a surprisingly pleasant Saturday in August," 10 Aug. 2019 Salvini regularly rails against EU budget rigor, insisting that more state spending on infrastructure will get Italy’s long-stagnant economy growing again. Frances D’emilio, BostonGlobe.com, "Italy edges closer to an election, perhaps in late October," 9 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, The Post has reported, 18 members of the NRA's 76-member board received money from the group for services during the past three years, raising questions about the rigor of their oversight. Author: Carol D. Leonnig, Beth Reinhard, Anchorage Daily News, "NRA chief LaPierre sought purchase of luxury mansion in wake of Parkland shooting," 8 Aug. 2019 Fortunately for us, her novel Inland bears the same storytelling rigor and frictionless prose of its predecessor. Ryan Chapman, Longreads, "‘Nobody in This Book Is Going to Catch a Break’: Téa Obreht on “Inland”," 28 Aug. 2019 They are grounded in mathematical rigor and experimental proof. George Musser, Scientific American, "The Search for Truth in Physics," 25 Aug. 2019 Posada Paso De Los Patos, Barreal, Argentina Barreal is an oasis of birdsong and shadows after the rigors of the mountain and desert, and Los Patos is its smartest property. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for rigor

Middle English rigour, from Anglo-French, from Latin rigor, literally, stiffness, from rigēre to be stiff

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Dictionary Entries near rigor

rigmaree

rigmarole

rigolet

rigor

rigorism

rigor mortis

rigorous

Statistics for rigor

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for rigor

The first known use of rigor was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for rigor

rigor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rigor

: the difficult and unpleasant conditions or experiences that are associated with something
: the quality or state of being very exact, careful, or strict

rigor

noun
rig·​or | \ ˈri-gər How to pronounce rigor (audio) \

Kids Definition of rigor

: a harsh condition (as of discipline)

rigor

noun
rig·​or | \ ˈrig-ər, British also ˈrī-ˌgȯr\

Medical Definition of rigor

b : a tremor caused by a chill
2a : rigidity or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli

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More from Merriam-Webster on rigor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rigor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rigor

Spanish Central: Translation of rigor

Nglish: Translation of rigor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rigor for Arabic Speakers

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