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2 definitions found
 for Rigor mortis
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Rigor \Ri"gor\, n. [L. See Rigor., below.]
     1. Rigidity; stiffness.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (ed.) A sense of chilliness, with contraction of the skin;
        a convulsive shuddering or tremor, as in the chill
        preceding a fever.
        [1913 Webster]
     Rigor caloris[L., rigor of heat] (Physiol.), a form of
        rigor mortis induced by heat, as when the muscle of a
        mammal is heated to about 50[deg] C.
     Rigor mortis[L., rigor of death], 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.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  rigor mortis
      n 1: temporary stiffness of joints and muscular rigidity
           occurring after death
      2: muscular stiffening that begins 2 to 4 hours after death and
         lasts for about 4 days

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