AskDefine | Define rigidity

Dictionary Definition



1 the physical property of being stiff and resisting bending [syn: rigidness]
2 the quality of being rigid and rigorously severe [syn: inflexibility] [ant: flexibility]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The quality or state of being rigid; want of pliability; the quality of resisting change of form; the amount of resistance with which a body opposes change of form.
  2. Stiffness of appearance or manner; want of ease or elegance.


The quality or state of being rigid
Stiffness of appearance or manner


Extensive Definition

Generally, rigidity refers to inflexibility or resistance to change. It has a number of specific meanings depending on the field of application.
In medicine (neurology) rigidity describes an increase in muscle tone, leading to a resistance to passive movement throughout the range of motion.
In psychology, rigidity refers to an obstacle to problem solving which arises from over-dependence on prior experience, which makes it difficult for a person with experience in a specific problem domain to recognize novel solution strategies. This phenomenon is also known as a mental set. A specific example is functional fixedness, which is a difficulty conceiving new uses for familiar objects.
In solid mechanics, "rigidity" refers to the degree of deforming ability of a solid material. Modulus of elasticity with moment of inertia (E*I) is the numeric value of rigidity. According to this expression, one can see only two criteria affect deformation, which are geometry and the material of an object.
Rigidity is also known as the material property of shear modulus which is a measure of force per unit area needed to change the shape of a material.


rigidity in French: Rigidité
rigidity in Serbian: Ригидност

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abidingness, absoluteness, accuracy, adamantness, attention to fact, care for truth, changelessness, concentration, constancy, correctness, delicacy, dourness, durability, durableness, duration, endurance, exactitude, exactness, faithfulness, faultlessness, fidelity, fineness, firmness, firmness of mind, fixedness, flawlessness, flintiness, frozenness, fundamentalism, grimness, hard-bittenness, hard-nosedness, hardening, hardness, immobility, immobilization, immovability, immovableness, immutability, implacability, impliability, inelasticity, inertia, inexorability, inextricability, inflexibility, intransigeance, intransigence, intransigency, intransigentism, invariability, invariableness, inveteracy, irreconcilability, irremovability, lastingness, literalism, literality, literalness, long standing, loyalty, mathematical precision, meticulousness, niceness, nicety, obduracy, obdurateness, obstinacy, orthodoxy, perfection, permanence, permanency, perpetualness, persistence, persistency, preciseness, precisianism, precision, purism, puritanism, quiescence, refinement, relentlessness, renitence, renitency, right, rightness, rigidness, rigor, rigorism, rigorousness, settledness, severity, solidity, stability, standing, starchiness, stasis, staunchness, steadfastness, steadiness, steeliness, sternness, stiff temper, stiffness, strictness, stubbornness, subtlety, tautness, tenseness, tension, tensity, textualism, the letter, tightness, torpor, toughness, trueness, unalterability, unbendingness, unchangeability, unchangingness, uncompromisingness, ungivingness, unmovability, unrelentingness, unyieldingness, vis inertiae
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