rigor

noun

rig·​or ˈri-gər How to pronounce rigor (audio)
1
a(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
5
a
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Early in her political career, Vice President Kamala Harris compared being on the trail to the rigors of being a lawyer during an extended trial. Michael D. Shear Michael D. Shear, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 The point of the postpartum period was not to learn skills, Mariah reminded me, but to recover physically and mentally from the rigors of pregnancy. Clarissa Wei, The New Yorker, 23 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for rigor 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rigor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rigor

Cite this Entry

“Rigor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rigor. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

rigor

noun
rig·​or ˈrig-ər How to pronounce rigor (audio)
1
a
: the quality of not being flexible or yielding
b
: an act or instance of being strict or harsh
2
: a shuddering caused by a chill
3
: a condition that makes life difficult or uncomfortable
especially : extreme cold
4
: strict precision : exactness
logical rigor

Medical Definition

rigor

noun
rig·​or
ˈrig-ər, British also ˈrī-ˌgȯr
1
b
: a tremor caused by a chill
2
a
: rigidity or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli

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