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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.