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From Middle English rigour, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French rigor, from Latin rigor (stiffness, rigidity, rigor, cold, harshness), from rigere (to be rigid). Compare French rigueur.



rigour (countable and uncountable, plural rigours)

  1. Severity or strictness.
    • 1611, King James Version, Exodus 1:13–14:
      And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
  2. Harshness, as of climate.
  3. A trembling or shivering response.
  4. Character of being unyielding or inflexible.
  5. Shrewd questioning.
  6. Higher level of difficulty. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  7. (Britain) Misspelling of rigor (rigor mortis).

Related terms[edit]


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Further reading[edit]