Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Muscular stiffening following death.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Temporary stiffness of a body's muscles and joints following death.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. death stiffening; the rigidity of the muscles that occurs at death and lasts till decomposition sets in. It is due to the formation of myosin by the coagulation of the contents of the individual muscle fibers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. muscular stiffening that begins 2 to 4 hours after death and lasts for about 4 days
  • n. temporary stiffness of joints and muscular rigidity occurring after death

Etymologies

Latin : rigor, stiffness + mortis, genitive of mors, death.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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