When I paraphrase this sentence 'She is too strict with her kids.', I came up with this expression 'She is too rigid to her kids.'.

What is the difference between them? Please help me.

  • In the US, "rigid" is not idiomatic in this context. But they would tend to be interpreted the same (but in this context only -- a bridge would not be described as "strict").
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:08

2 Answers 2


"Strict" in this context is either "strong" or "severe" (as suggested in other answers), and "rigid" is "inflexible", or "without exception", though one can also use "strict" as "inflexible", as in "the rule is strictly enforced, no exceptions are made for any reason".

Consider a parent who requires his eight year old kid to be in bed, lights-out, by 10 pm. In my country (Canada), that would not be at all strict as it's quite late. But if there was a punishment that applied at 10:01, or if no exception was ever made (e.g. for watching a meteor shower or the Northern Lights) that would be rigid, though not strict.


Think in terms of rigid as being stiff and strict as being severe and the correct word should fall into place. Eg. His body went rigid with fear. Strict would not be appropriate. Eg. He was under strict orders to be home early. Rigid would not be appropriate.

  • A child might be said to have a "rigid curfew". There would be slightly different implications vs "strict", but not substantially different.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:10
  • This is not correct. Rigid can also refer tobibes mindset. He had a rigid set of beliefs. He had rigid orders to apprehend the suspect.
    – David M
    Oct 12, 2019 at 0:30

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