Definition of rigid in English:



  • 1Unable to bend or be forced out of shape; not flexible.

    ‘a seat of rigid orange plastic’
    • ‘It looked to be some sort of leathery tissue, but in a strangely rigid shape.’
    • ‘Most of them are cast in a somewhat soft and pliable plastic and at first I was disappointed in this thinking that a more rigid plastic would have been preferable.’
    • ‘The result is the new ‘lightweight armor’ shoe, which has a flexible forefoot and a rigid heel.’
    • ‘Some farmers add rigid plastic part of the way up the sides of the greenhouse if using roll-up sides.’
    • ‘The many other materials which have been used can be divided into two broad types: rigid, like wood; and flexible, like canvas.’
    • ‘It's flexible polymer clay that hardens into rigid plastic after a spell in your kitchen oven.’
    • ‘These pioneers used rigid poles made of ash; flexible bamboo poles were introduced around 1900, and the modern fibreglass variety was first used in 1956.’
    • ‘The halls extended for about 30 feet in each direction before turning at a rigid edge to fit the precise triangular shape of the ship.’
    • ‘The cabin has plenty of storage spaces, but the door pockets would be much more useful with flexible sides instead of rigid ones.’
    • ‘The whole grid should be rigid, its angles and distances fixed and proportionate.’
    • ‘Although the nanostructure looks like a spring, it is actually rigid, rather than elastic, and holds its shape even when it is isolated.’
    • ‘Among them are lidding film for rigid cups, flexible pouches for pet foods and beverage pouches for juices.’
    • ‘By using flexible fabrics instead of conventional rigid molds, concrete elements can vary in volume according to structural requirements.’
    • ‘The man sat calmly in the rigid plastic chair, his hands paced lightly on the cheap desk in front of him.’
    • ‘Like plaster piece-moulds, they require a rigid mother mould made of plaster or a synthetic resin.’
    stiff, hard, firm, inflexible, non-flexible, unbending, unyielding, inelastic
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    1. 1.1 (of a person or part of their body) stiff and unmoving, especially as a result of shock or fear.
      ‘Beatrice was rigid with terror’
      • ‘She was rigid with terror at the very thought of it.’
      • ‘Her mind was completely void of emotions and her body was rigid.’
      • ‘Immediately, he sat up, his body taut and rigid as he strained to listen to their conversation.’
      • ‘His blue eyes pierced me and made my body feel suddenly rigid with fear.’
      • ‘Adrianna felt paralyzed; her limbs became rigid and stiff with shock.’
      • ‘Almost like a wave starting from her toes, her muscles began to tighten in sequence until she was rigid.’
      • ‘After a long moment, her shoulders, which had been rigid with tension, suddenly slumped.’
      • ‘Until a week ago, he was demented, rigid, incontinent, unable to talk, swallow or blink his eyes.’
      • ‘She was rigid, staring blank at the screen, though her heart beat with excitement.’
      • ‘Her very face seems stiff and her whole body is rigid.’
      • ‘Her heart was racing and her body became rigid with fear.’
      • ‘She clenched her teeth and stayed motionless, waiting for his reply, although her entire body was rigid with pent fury.’
      • ‘Her body was completely rigid, and her hands were clutching her sheets.’
      • ‘His whole body is rigid and I didn't think it was possible for him to go any paler but he has; he looks like a ghost.’
      • ‘Looking over at her properly for the first time since getting into her car, he noticed her slim body was rigid with tension, her knuckles white from holding the steering wheel in a deathly grip.’
      • ‘His body was rigid, his gaze unmoving, fixed on some point on the wall behind the German, his expression entirely unreadable.’
      • ‘Tyro found himself rigid, unable to move, and unable to breath.’
      • ‘His body abruptly became rigid with fear and anticipation.’
      • ‘His shoulders were rigid with anger, but at the same time, a tear escaped his eye.’
      • ‘I turned around and marched away, my body unexplainably stiff and rigid.’
  • 2Not able to be changed or adapted.

    ‘rigid bureaucratic controls’
    • ‘Because unions and management, alike, have been rigid and inflexible.’
    • ‘For a while he tried to get along with social services, but they were too rigid.’
    • ‘High wages and rigid labor rules have hurt productivity, eroded earnings, and made companies reluctant to hire.’
    • ‘You have to make a cut at categorising these things and it is a matter of judgment rather than following a rigid rule book in many cases.’
    • ‘This indicates that the bargaining model in Italy is not rigid, but flexible and adaptable.’
    • ‘Automated programs follow a rigid set of rules that may not adequately reproduce the common sense we humans use when reviewing a page.’
    • ‘If you had a strategy, it was rigid and inflexible.’
    • ‘They are setting up rigid control processes with high levels of IT security.’
    • ‘The inclusion of a rigid rule against capital controls in a trade agreement makes things even worse.’
    • ‘To move beyond rigid rules and roles, the twenty-first century nurse must not only understand nursing and medical language, but use it confidently.’
    • ‘The law is not, perhaps, ferocious, but the tests are rigid and factual, and the cases that result are easy and automatic.’
    • ‘And Lula would likely have to shelve plans to reform rigid labor laws, overhaul a dysfunctional judiciary, and streamline a bewildering tax system.’
    • ‘Unlike the normal school year, the summer is filled with a crowd of instructors that is unfamiliar with the rigid rules usually inflicted upon the students.’
    • ‘A more rigid work schedule has forced changes, and now the main meal is taken in the evening.’
    • ‘These people follow a strict, rigid code of social custom and behavior, and judge the people who do not follow the rules.’
    • ‘Smaller businesses may be relatively flexible in terms of not being bound by rigid corporate policies, giving individuals greater opportunities to shape their working routines.’
    • ‘Through the end of the twentieth century, Kenyan households maintained rigid rules concerning women's roles within the patriarchal household.’
    • ‘A ten-year programme was introduced to wipe out the liability by introducing rigid controls on expenditure relating to the upkeep of churches.’
    • ‘Diminishing fiscal flexibility and a relatively rigid political system in China put constraints on the credit ratings, however.’
    • ‘You, and I myself, grew up in a rigid society, unchanging except for War.’
    fixed, set, firm, inflexible, unalterable, unchangeable, immutable, unvarying, invariable, hard and fast, cast-iron
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    1. 2.1 Not adaptable in outlook, belief, or response.
      ‘the College had not wanted to be too rigid in imposing teaching methods’
      • ‘A willingness to listen to and at least partially incorporate the other point of view has replaced the rigid and uncompromising attitude of the past.’
      • ‘They contend that large swathes of the population are becoming more rigid in their political allegiances.’
      • ‘They're rigid about their proposals and strategies, but compromise on their core values.’
      • ‘Designers are flexible and intuitive rather than rigid and exacting.’
      • ‘I have a feeling that Horton's style wasn't as rigid as the way that it has been passed down.’
      • ‘She was also notorious for her rude comments and rigid opinions on style.’
      • ‘By being so rigid, he is unable to adapt and trust.’
      • ‘So they often run the risk of becoming dogmatic and overly rigid in their thinking process.’
      • ‘Those who accuse [us] of social engineering often have very narrow, rigid view about the way the world should be and everyone should conform with that.’
      • ‘Open toleration of such attitudes became problematic as Jim became more rigid.’
      strict, severe, stern, stringent, rigorous, inflexible, uncompromising, resolute, determined, immovable, unshakeable
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  • A lorry which is not articulated.


Late Middle English: from Latin rigidus, from rigere ‘be stiff’.