rig·​id | \ ˈri-jəd How to pronounce rigid (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Clearly, Rodger’s desire for, and hatred of, women was amplified by a rigid, repellent racial hierarchy. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 In northern cities like New York, Black Americans still faced arrest and violence for transgressing rigid, but unseen, segregation codes. Albert Fox Cahn, Wired, 9 Sep. 2021 There are innumerable historical examples of Black mothers rejecting these rigid boundaries and definitions in pursuit of their freedom. Leah Wright Rigueur, The Atlantic, 11 Aug. 2021 Now a pharmaceutical executive and trained as a scientist, Douglas is methodical and perfectionistic, bordering on rigid. Irene S. Levine, Forbes, 14 June 2021 Earth’s fractured carapace of rigid, interlocking plates is unique in the solar system. Quanta Magazine, 25 Mar. 2021 Attorney bios do not have to be so rigid and uptight — save that for the CV. Yec, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 The need to stick to a rigid schedule, and the pressure that an impending recess puts on getting a deal done, decreases significantly if members are casting their votes from home. Annie Grayer, Kristin Wilson And Sarah Fortinsky, CNN, 1 July 2021 American society is obsessed with money, but rigid rules of decorum control any mention of it. Irina Dumitrescu, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About rigid

Time Traveler for rigid

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near rigid



rigid conduit

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rigid

Last Updated

27 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rigid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rigid. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rigid



English Language Learners Definition of rigid

: not able to be bent easily : stiff
: not easily changed
: not willing to change opinions or behavior


rig·​id | \ ˈri-jəd How to pronounce rigid (audio) \

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 How to pronounce rigid (audio) \

Medical Definition of rigid

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

More from Merriam-Webster on rigid

Nglish: Translation of rigid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rigid for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!