Definition of rigorous in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈriɡ(ə)rəs/


1Extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate: the rigorous testing of consumer products
More example sentences
  • Her approach to film is not unlike that of photography: careful composition, rigorous planning of the frame, scrupulous attention to visual detail and regular use of a stationary camera.
  • Analysis of results was extremely rigorous, and the dissertation was also noteworthy for its clarity of presentation, with complex results presented in a logical and understandable manner.
  • He has not provided any rigorous analysis or even detailed explanation of these alleged technical problems.
meticulous, conscientious, punctilious, careful, diligent, attentive, scrupulous, painstaking, exact, precise, accurate, thorough, particular, strict, demanding, exacting
informal persnickety
1.1(Of a rule, system, etc.) strictly applied or adhered to: rigorous controls on mergers
More example sentences
  • Such a culture, based on the most rigorous rules of court etiquette and procedure, naturally gave rise to correspondingly formalised aesthetic theories of music and the theatre.
  • Over the past year, 180 solutions has attempted to clean up its image and now enforces rigorous rules on its affiliates and has added safeguards into its software.
  • Any bottle of champagne has to follow a very rigorous set of rules to qualify for the ‘champagne’ label.
1.2(Of a person) adhering strictly or inflexibly to a belief, opinion, or way of doing something: a rigorous teetotaler
More example sentences
  • When there's four of us, we are very rigorous in what we allow through.
  • He is rigorous in his methods: if a picture needs a caption to explain it, he believes it has failed.
  • The rigorous self-discipline of the Presbyterian work ethic, however, did not grip the Kane household.
1.3Harsh and demanding: my exercise regime is a little more rigorous than most the rigorous climate in the regions of perpetual snow high in the Himalayas
More example sentences
  • Charter schools, higher standards, rigorous demands on teachers, and smaller class size, he writes, are all diversions, aimed at keeping us from striking at the real heart of the problem.
  • University is difficult enough with rigorous course work, steep fees and social demands, but try to imagine attending while severely disabled.
  • The challenge then became to be physically competent enough to cope with the rigorous demands of filming, and to cut a suitably believable action hero.
harsh, severe, bad, bleak, extreme, inclement;
unpleasant, disagreeable, foul, nasty, filthy;
stormy, wild, tempestuous



Pronunciation: /ˈriɡ(ə)rəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • The very rigorousness and severity of its religious and ethical code of conduct have contributed to its resilience and survival as a minority in all parts of India.
  • He prefaces them with introductory essays that paint a vivid picture of an assertive faith characterized by ‘emotionalism, ecstasy, rigorousness, exuberance, and evangelism.’
  • Users should look seriously at their document repository requirements before embarking to make sure that the rigorousness of the tools selected provides the rigorousness they need.


Late Middle English: from Old French rigorous or late Latin rigorosus, from rigor 'stiffness' (see rigor2).

Words that rhyme with rigorous


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rig·or·ous

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.