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a. Strictness or severity, as in action or judgment: "The desert fostered a closed world of faith and rigor and harsh judgment: almost every decision here could have lethal consequences" (Jeffrey Tayler).
b. A harsh or trying circumstance; a hardship or difficulty: the rigors of working in a coal mine. See Synonyms at difficulty.
c. Archaic A harsh or severe act.
a. Strictness in adhering to standards or a method; exactitude: "To study the brain with scientific rigor, behaviorists logically restricted their experiments to ones in which the brain was the source of measurable effects" (Robert Pollack).
b. A standard or exacting requirement, as of a field of study: the intellectual rigors of advanced mathematics.
3. Medicine Shivering or trembling, as caused by a chill.
4. Physiology A state of rigidity in living tissues or organs that prevents response to stimuli.
5. Obsolete Stiffness or rigidity.

[Middle English rigour, from Old French, from Latin rigor, from rigēre, to be stiff; see reig- in Indo-European roots.]


(ˈraɪɡɔː; ˈrɪɡə)
1. (Medicine) med a sudden feeling of chilliness, often accompanied by shivering: it sometimes precedes a fever
2. (Pathology) pathol rigidity of a muscle; muscular cramp
3. (Zoology) a state of rigidity assumed by some animals in reaction to sudden shock
4. (Botany) the inertia assumed by some plants in conditions unfavourable to growth
[see rigour]


(ˈrɪg ər)

1. the quality of being strict; inflexibility.
2. harshness of judgment or attitude; sternness.
3. hardship of living conditions; austerity: the rigor of wartime existence.
4. a severe or harsh act or circumstance.
5. scrupulous accuracy; precision.
6. severity of weather or climate.
7. a sudden coldness, as that preceding certain fevers; chill.
8. muscular rigidity.
Also, esp. Brit., rig′our.
[1350–1400; Middle English rigour < Latin rigor stiffness =rig(ēre) to be stiff + -or -or1]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.rigor - something hard to endurerigor - something hard to endure; "the asperity of northern winters"
difficultness, difficulty - the quality of being difficult; "they agreed about the difficulty of the climb"
sternness - the quality (as of scenery) being grim and gloomy and forbidding; "the sternness of his surroundings made him uncomfortable"
2.rigor - the quality of being valid and rigorous
believability, credibility, credibleness - the quality of being believable or trustworthy
3.rigor - excessive sternness; "severity of character"; "the harshness of his punishment was inhuman"; "the rigors of boot camp"
sternness, strictness - uncompromising resolution


1. The fact or condition of being rigorous and unsparing:
2. Something that obstructs progress and requires great effort to overcome:
asperity, difficulty, hardship, vicissitude (often used in plural).
Idioms: a hard nut to crack, a hard row to hoe, heavy sledding.


(American) rigor (ˈrigə) noun
1. strictness; harshness.
2. (also ˈrigours noun plural) (of weather etc) the state of being very bad or unpleasant, or the hardship caused by this. the rigour(s) of life in the Arctic Circle.
ˈrigorous adjective
1. strict. a rigorous training.
2. harsh; unpleasant. a rigorous climate.
ˈrigorously adverb
ˈrigorousness noun
References in classic literature ?
As the sense of responsibility is always strongest, in proportion as it is undivided, it may be inferred that a single man would be most ready to attend to the force of those motives which might plead for a mitigation of the rigor of the law, and least apt to yield to considerations which were calculated to shelter a fit object of its vengeance.
I felt, in a fierce rigor of confidence, that if I stood my ground a minute I should cease--for the time, at least-- to have him to reckon with; and during the minute, accordingly, the thing was as human and hideous as a real interview: hideous just because it WAS human, as human as to have met alone, in the small hours, in a sleeping house, some enemy, some adventurer, some criminal.
She did not know then that it was Love who had come to her briefly, as in a dream before awaking, with the hues of morning on his wings-- that it was Love to whom she was sobbing her farewell as his image was banished by the blameless rigor of irresistible day.
In the preceding inquiries the powers of the convention have been analyzed and tried with the same rigor, and by the same rules, as if they had been real and final powers for the establishment of a Constitution for the United States.
It may be that you have discovered, before this, that the rigors of military law and custom melt insensibly away and disappear when a soldier or a regiment or the garrison wants to do something that will please Cathy.
In the heart of a savage and unknown country, seven hundred miles from the main body of his fellow-adventurers, Stuart had dismissed half of his little number, and was prepared with the residue to brave all the perils of the wilderness, and the rigors of a long and dreary winter.
The proposal by the Legislature's Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education is designed to encourage colleges and K-12 schools to increase the rigor of all high school courses.
The largest source of variability in poultry texture arises from the different rates at which carcasses go into rigor.
Y digo que todo es emblematico, simbolico y circular porque el mio no era cualquier maestro: Ignacio Retes es un hecho vivo de rigor profesional, de congruencia politica, de compromiso y verticalidad en nuestro teatro.
The most pronounced examples of Rutherford's perceptual progress involve his growing awareness of the contrast between healthy, unified, reciprocal perception of experience and dualist, objectifying perception embodied in the text by images of rigor mortis.
Cisco Systems(R) (NASDAQ:CSCO) today announced the winners of its 3R Award Program, developed by the Cisco Networking Academy(R) to recognize students, instructors and schools that demonstrate excellence in the categories of Rigor, Relevance and Relationships.
Enrico Rigor a dressing-down after the latter echoed the same complaint to lawmakers during a Justice subcommittee hearing.