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illustration Rigorism



Part of speech: noun

Origin: English, 18th century


Extreme strictness in interpreting or enforcing a law, precept, or principle.


(In the Roman Catholic Church) Formerly, the doctrine that in doubtful cases of conscience the strict course is always to be followed.

Examples of Rigorism in a sentence

"The vice principal was known for her rigorism, and every student expected the full term of detention allowed after they were called to her office."

"Despite my father’s rigorism around instructing me on proper behavior at the dinner table, he was always sure to sneak me a treat before bedtime."

About Rigorism

“Rigorism” was formed in English by combining the existing word “rigor” (meaning “strictness”) with the suffix “-ism.”

Did you Know?

The term “rigorism” can describe any tendency to great strictness in interpreting rules, but it was originally associated with a particular doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. In Catholicism, “rigorism” refers to the idea that in circumstances where it’s unclear which path is right and which is wrong, the safest path is to adhere to the response most closely associated with church teachings and rules. Another way of interpreting Catholic rigorism would be to say, “When in doubt about which choice is best, follow the rules to the letter.”

illustration Rigorism

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