If you are rigorous when you do something, you do it extremely carefully and precisely. A rigorous inspection of your tax records has revealed the government owes you money. Congratulations!

The Latin root for rigorous is rigor, meaning “stiffness.” This might remind you of rigor mortis, the stiffening of a body after death, as often seen on cop shows. This is a good, if creepy, way of remembering the meaning of rigorous: rigorous people are stiff and unbending about the standards of their work. This requires being alive, of course.

Definitions of rigorous
  1. adjective
    rigidly accurate; allowing no deviation from a standard
    rigorous application of the law”
    synonyms: strict
    marked by strict and particular and complete accordance with fact
  2. adjective
    demanding strict attention to rules and procedures
    rigorous discipline”
    synonyms: stringent, tight
    requiring more than usually expected or thought due; especially great patience and effort and skill
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