Definition of rigor mortis in English:

rigor mortis

Pronunciation /ˌriɡər ˈmôrdəs/ /ˌrɪɡər ˈmɔrdəs/

Translate rigor mortis into Spanish


  • Stiffening of the joints and muscles of a body a few hours after death, usually lasting from one to four days.

    ‘After death, bodies are rubbed and anointed to remove rigor mortis.’
    • ‘When they brought the bodies up, rigor mortis had set in on one women's body so strongly that they couldn't separate the mother from her child.’
    • ‘He tries to slide the ring off his mother's finger, but rigor mortis has set in.’
    • ‘Everybody experiences gradual muscular rigor mortis, where over time you become stiffer and stiffer and stiffer.’
    • ‘I tried to remove a newspaper from his hand, but rigor mortis had practically grafted it to his skin.’


Mid 19th century from Latin, literally ‘stiffness of death’.