Medical Definition of Rigor, Written by Doctors

Definition of Rigor

Reviewed on 4/2/2020

Rigor: A word with two different but related meanings in medicine:

  1. A chill, usually with shivering, as at the onset of high fever and chills.
  2. Rigidity, as in rigor mortis, the rigidity of a body after death.

The alternate spelling rigour is chiefly British. From the French, from the Latin rigor, meaning stiffness, from rigere, to be stiff.

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