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

Example Sentences

The patient's legs were rigid. He is a rigid disciplinarian.
Recent Examples on the Web Establish ground rules Determine what ethical nonmonogamy looks like to you both and agree on your parameters — more rigid rules may be best when starting out — and plan to keep the conversation going. Ian Kerner, CNN, 19 Feb. 2023 And rigid rules — students may only go after their target and never endanger anyone else. Sun Sentinel, 15 Feb. 2023 The situation is even more rigid for companies that own their office buildings because commercial mortgages are refinanced at the end of the original loan period, not during. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 7 Feb. 2023 The reason is that people who are more rigid in their thinking often don’t have backup plans. Kelyn Soong, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Jan. 2023 Now is not the time to be rigid about pricing strategies as customer retention risk grows. John Jarosz, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022 These are often shorter than classic skis, and are more rigid to prevent too much torsional flex during each lateral push. Maggie Slepian, Popular Mechanics, 13 Dec. 2022 The fingers could even tell the difference between rigid and soft internal materials and the soft outer silicone coating. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 20 Feb. 2023 Avoid shoes made of materials that are rigid and not flexible. Sarah Edlin, Health, 14 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

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 24 Mar. 2023.

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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