Meaning of RIGHT in English


I. ˈrīt, usu -īd.+V adjective

( sometimes -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English riht, right, from Old English riht; akin to Old High German reht right, Old Norse rēttr, Gothic raihts right, Latin rectus straight, right, regere to lead straight, guide, rule, rogare to ask, Greek oregein to stretch out, orektos stretched out, upright, Sanskrit ṛjyati, ṛñjati he stretches, hastens, raji straightening up, straight; basic meaning: straight

1. : disposed to do what is just or good : righteous , upright

a God of faithfulness … just and right is he — Deut 32:4 (Revised Standard Version)

the right soul, high and true and pure — W.L.Sullivan

a right conscience

a right man


a. : being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper

conflicting notions of right conduct — B.N.Cardozo

teach young girls right behavior when faced with … temptations — London Calling

it is right that we should do this

religious teachings as to what is right and what is wrong

doing something he thought not quite right

b. : held to be in accordance with justice, morality, and goodness usually because approved by a person or group

asserted that he was on the right side of the controversy

of course the right cause and the right men won — Times Literary Supplement


a. : agreeable to a standard or principle : fit , suitable

educating by a right use of pleasure — Benjamin Jowett

the perfectioning of our countrymen in … the right use of their native language — Samuel Foote

b. : agreeing with or conforming to facts : characterized by strict accordance with fact or truth : devoid of error or fault : correct , exact

a right description of our sport — Shakespeare

the answer to a sum is either right or wrong — Bertrand Russell

c. : leading in the proper direction or toward a desired objective

took the right road

set out in the right direction

the right way to salvation

4. : satisfying the requirements of necessity, propriety, or suitability : appropriate , fitting

the right man for the job — B.R.Redman

knew that he said the right thing — Elizabeth Goudge

marry when she has found the right chap — Robert Reid

an audience that … applauded at the right moments — Joseph Wechsberg

5. obsolete : having proper title or right : lawful , rightful

they slew their right king — Thomas Becon

he has a great estate, only the right owner keeps him out — Jonathan Swift

6. : devoid of bends or curves : straight

a right line

streets made very broad and right — Richard Tomson


a. : justly entitled to the name : having the true character of : actual , genuine , real

manifested themselves to be right barbarians — John Milton

a right woman

a spillway rather than a right river — H.S.Canby

right deer

— compare right whale

b. : having a genuine rather than a counterfeit or spurious character

an ounce of right Virginia tobacco — Richard Steele

wainscoted with right wainscot — John Entick

8. : properly relating or attached to one

give it its right name

9. : characterized by normality : sane , sound

offers no man in his right mind could resist — Bennett Cerf

no rancher in his right senses goes into business on borrowed capital — Green Peyton



(1) : of, relating to, or constituting the hand that in most persons is stronger, the side of the body on which it is located, or the parts of that side of the body

her right foot

the right side of a human body

delivered a right hook to the jaw

(2) : of, relating to, or constituting a similarly located part of another object

b. : located on, designed for, or used on that side of the body

the right pocket of a shirt

a right glove

c. : located on an observer's right or directed as his right hand would point

the right side of a house

took the right fork in the road

d. : located on the right of an observer facing in the same direction as the object involved

stage right

the right wing of an army

the right bank of a river

11. : erect from a base : having its axis perpendicular to the base : upright rather than oblique — compare right angle , right sphere

12. : of, relating to, or constituting the side of something that is usually held to be the principal one or the one naturally or by design turned up, outward, or toward one or the one that is most finished or polished

turn your socks right side out

the right side of a piece of velvet

in the ditch beside the road, right side up … rested a new coupe — Scott Fitzgerald

13. : held to presage good luck or good spirits during the day

got up on the right side of the bed

get the project started off on the right foot

14. : acting, thinking, or judging in accordance with truth or the facts (as of a case) : correct in opinion, judgment, or procedure : stating truth

he was right in refusing the offer

time proved him right

right you are, sir


a. : mentally normal or sound : sane

not right in his head

not right in her mind

b. : well in physical health : being in good health and spirits : being in good physical condition : sound , well

the patient doesn't look quite right yet

a few days' rest would put him right — Max Peacock

16. : being in a proper or satisfactory state : being in good order

everything will come out right in the end

get something right

that will make it right

hunches which turned out right — A.G.N.Flew

17. : being in a correct or properly directed state

we'll set the world right — Eden Phillpotts

the readiness … to put things right — London Calling

proceeded to set him right

18. : most favorable, convenient, or desired : advantageous , preferable

I'm still on the right side of 50 — Alan Villiers

get on the right side of the law — Hugo Wall

the right side of the tracks

19. often capitalized : of, adhering to, or constituted by the Right especially in politics — compare right wing


a. : producing or likely to produce a winning roll or series of rolls in craps and other dice games

the dice are right tonight

bet he's right

b. : hopeful that a roll or series of rolls on which a bet is placed in craps and other dice games will result in a natural or a point made

a right bet

a right bettor

21. : socially acceptable, prominent, or correct

did not know the right people except in a business way — J.P.Marquand

a right school

belongs to the right clubs — H.N.Maclean


a. : all right 3

a right guy

b. : held by criminals to be trustworthy and sympathetic or made safe through bribery

a right official

in right territory

Synonyms: see correct

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English riht, right, from Old English riht (akin to Old Saxon & Old High German reht, Old Frisian riucht ), from riht, adjective

1. : an ethical or moral quality that constitutes the ideal of moral propriety and involves various attributes (as adherence to duty, obedience to lawful authority, whether divine or human, and freedom from guilt) : something morally just or consonant with the light of nature : the straight course

2. : something to which one has a just claim: as

a. : the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled (as upon principles of morality, religion, law, or custom)

held their lands by right of the sword — Kemp Malone

might, not right … put her in the position she occupied — J.H.Blunt

accorded of grace and not of right

primacy by right of merit

b. : a power, privilege, or condition of existence to which one has a natural claim of enjoyment or possession

the rights of the people

right of liberty

— see natural right

c. : a power, privilege, or immunity vested in one (as by authority or social custom)


(1) : a power or privilege vested in a person by the law to demand action or forbearance at the hands of another : a legally enforceable claim against another that the other will do or will not do a given act : a capacity or privilege the enjoyment of which is secured to a person by law — see absolute right , remedial right , substantive right ; compare person of incidence , person of inherence

(2) : a claim recognized and delimited by law for the purpose of securing it

(3) : the aggregate of the capacities, powers, liberties, and privileges by which a claim is secured

(4) : the capacity to assert a legally recognized claim

(5) : the interest or share that one has in a piece of property

(6) : a claim or title to property or a possession — often used in plural

bought land and water rights here — American Guide Series: Maryland

leased some mineral rights — Lamp

his rights to the throne

(7) rights plural : the property interest possessed under common law, copyright law, or custom and agreement in an intangible thing especially of a literary and artistic nature

sold the film rights of the novel for $50,000 — Arnold Bennett

promised me the Australian rights of his play — Mrs. Patrick Campbell

publishing rights under a contract

e. : a power, privilege, or immunity vested in an animal or group of animals (as by custom)

grazing rights of a herd of antelope


a. : something that justly accrues or falls to one : something that one may properly claim : one's due

claim your rights

honor and admiration are her rights — John Fletcher

b. archaic : an estate, dominion, or other territory belonging to one ; especially : the piece of land allocated by a colonial New England town to an individual settler

4. : just or equitable treatment : righteous action : fairness in decision : justice

in right to his majesty and the service — Thomas Hale

had fortune done him right — John Dryden


a. : the cause of truth or justice ; especially : a cause alleged to be true or just by the party supporting it

b. : the person, party, or cause that maintains what is right


a. : the right hand

sneaked his right home to the jaw — Donn Byrne


(1) : the location or direction lying on the right side of one's body

on our right was a large house

(2) : a similar location or direction with respect to another object

as you look at the … flag, its right is on your own left — Boy Scout Handbook

c. : the part of something (as the wing of an army, the stage of a theater, or the portion of a line of men) that is on the right side of an observer facing in the direction it faces

d. : the road (as of a pair diverging from a point) lying to one's right

take the right at the fork

e. : right field

sent a nice single to right — Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican

7. : one of the principal tines of a stag's antler (as a brow antler, bay antler, or royal antler) — usually used in plural

8. : the true account or correct interpretation of something (as a story, matter, or dispute)

could not … learn the very right of it — Henry Fielding

— usually used in plural

have never heard the rights of that story — Frederick Marryat

9. : the quality or state of being factually correct : consonance with fact : truthfulness of statement : freedom from error or falsehood : adherence to truth or fact : correctness

some mixture of right and wrong in their reasoning — Edmund Burke

10. : the member of a pair situated or used on the right side: as

a. : a shoe or other article of footwear for the right foot

b. : a glove or other article of apparel for the right hand

11. often capitalized

a. : the part of a legislative chamber located to the right of the presiding officer and usually occupied in continental European and other countries having a similar political pattern by members professing a more conservative or rightist position on political issues than other members

loud applause from benches of the right

the right is occupied by a neo-Fascist group

— compare center 3 c, left 3 a

b. : the members of a legislative body occupying such seats as a result of their political views



(1) usually capitalized : individuals or groups sometimes professing views characterized by opposition to change in the established political, social, and economic order and favoring the preservation of traditional attitudes and practices and sometimes advocating the establishment of an authoritarian political order by revolution or other forceful means

a sweeping victory for the conservative Right — F.A.Magruder

brickbats from the extreme Right — Al Hine

— compare authoritarian , conservative , fascist , left 4 a, nazi , reactionary , traditionalist

(2) : a group or party in another organization that favors conservative, traditional, or sometimes authoritarian attitudes and policies

the right in a labor union

left and right in the literary world

b. often capitalized : the symbolic position occupied by persons professing such views : a conservative or rightist as distinguished from a radical position

drove the Government to the right

people ranging from center to extreme right — Harper's

13. : a blow (as given by a boxer) with the right fist

a hard right to the jaw — American Guide Series: New York


a. : a privilege given stockholders of a corporation to subscribe pro rata to a new issue of securities generally at a price below that prevailing in the market

the prospective offering of rights to … railroad stockholders — New York Times

b. : the negotiable certificate evidencing such privilege — usually used in plural

15. dialect

a. : duty , obligation

you have a right to behave better

b. : likely reason or excuse

a right to fall in if you skate on thin ice


right , prerogative , privilege , perquisite , appanage , birthright can signify, in common, something to which one has a just or legal claim. right , the most inclusive, can designate anything, as a power, condition of existence, or possession to which one is entitled by nature, legal or moral law, a grant, or purchase

the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

the right to freedom of speech

the right to property

the right to command

the right to respect

prerogative is a right by reason of one's sex, rank, office, character giving precedence, superiority, or advantage over others

entitled to the full prerogative of his office — F.M.Stenton

it may at times exercise the prerogative of art by a deliberate use of vague language or imagery — C.S.Kilby

endurance and stamina in the last analysis are the prerogatives of the male — Gerald Beaumont

privilege is a special right granted as a favor or concession or belonging to one as a prerogative

the installment buyer must usually pay extra for the privilege of deferring payment for what he has bought — J.A.Leavitt & C.O.Hanson

a propertied class struggling for its privileges which it honestly deems to be its rights — W.A.White

took over all the chartered rights and privileges of the existing power companies — American Guide Series: Maine

perquisite signifies something, usually money or something of value, to which one is entitled, especially by custom, in addition to one's regular salary or wages

the petty graft and favoritism which are normal perquisites of machine rule — Green Peyton

salary is generally supplemented by a rent-and-rate-free house, fuel, and sometimes other perquisites — Auctioneering, Estate Agency & Land Agency

shipwrecks and their jetsam are treated as an age-old perquisite of the native — Times Literary Supplement

appanage denotes anything to which one has a claim through custom, tradition, or natural necessity but sometimes extends to signify merely an appurtenance

armaments at one's own discretion must be regarded as no longer an appanage of nationhood — W.H.B.Beveridge

fashion at Court and their acquired prestige as a token of power and dignity made gloves an appanage of the ruling classes — Anny Varron

whose literary work had become a mere appanage of his domestic life — Van Wyck Brooks

birthright is a right to which one is entitled by reason of one's birth or the appurtenances of it, as the fact that one is a man, or a citizen of a particular country, descendant of a given family line

the poetic imagination that was his Elizabethan birthright — V.L.Parrington

free public education was the birthright of every child — Proposals for Public Education

a group which regarded creative painting as its special birthright — Rosamund Frost

if the college holds to its birthright and remains committed as a matter of purpose to serious concern with the issues of conscience — J.S.Dickey

- by rights

- in one's own right

- in right of

- in the right

- in the right of

- of right

- right now

- to rights

III. adverb

Etymology: Middle English riht, right, from Old English rihte, from riht, adjective

1. : in conformity with the standard of justice and duty : in accordance with righteousness : according to right : in harmony with the moral standard of actions : righteously , uprightly

live right

act right

2. : exactly , precisely , just , altogether

right where you are

right at his fingertips

right here and now

right outside the door


a. : in a suitable, proper, fitting, or desired manner : in the required or necessary way : duly , well

my boys … dress right — Jack Kramer

with strict discipline instructed right — Wentworth Dillon

you counsel right — Oliver Goldsmith

hold your pen right

b. : in a fortunate, desirable, or satisfactory way

everything will come out right


a. : in a straight line or direct course : directly , straight

I'm going right home

his tea came right from China

I'll come right back

b. archaic : in the proper course

directed them that went right — Ecclus 49:9(Authorized Version)

5. : according to fact or truth : accurately , correctly , truly

tell a story right

estimate a distance right

guess right

she couldn't believe she had heard right — Virgie Roger


a. : all the way

first … to take his ship right round the world — A.L.Rowse

windows coming right down to the floor — Sacheverell Sitwell

cut it back … right back — Audrev Barker

right through the hot summer

b. : completely

get right away from any such historical basis — Christopher Hawkes

streamlined square-root right out of the curriculum — Bice Clemow

running right out of soap — Elizabeth Bowen

blurted the words right out


a. : immediately

right after his marriage — Janet Flanner

right after an early breakfast — W.A.White

b. : without delay : very soon : almost at once

I'll be right with you — Scott Fitzgerald

go right out of the business course here and get jobs — Hannah Lees

8. : in a great degree : extremely , very

knew right well what was happening — W.A.White

right graciously he smiled on us — E.C.Stedman

it's right pleasant sitting here — Ellen Glasgow

— see right honorable , right reverend , right worshipful

9. : on or to the right

he looked neither right nor left — Sir Walter Scott

the local elections showed that the country was moving right

10. : on the shooter or the dice to win

consistently bets right

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English rihten, righten, from Old English rihtan; akin to Old High German rihten to straighten, make right, rule, regulate, Old Norse rētta to straighten, make right, adjust, Gothic ga raihtjan to guide; causative-denominative from the root of English right (I)

transitive verb


a. : to do justice to : make reparation to : relieve from wrong : restore rights to : assert or regain the rights of : redress the injuries of

so just is God to right the innocent — Shakespeare

the injured person would be … coming back to right himself — Leslie Stephen

b. : to set right : justify , vindicate

felt the need to right himself at court


a. : to make right (something that has been wrong) : bring into accordance with truth : make correct or exact

right the stupidities in our immigration laws — New Republic

false habits which must be consciously righted — J.M.Barzun

b. : to correctly inform or otherwise set right (as a person)

endeavor to right the public mind

3. : avenge

right all wrongs


a. : to restore to the proper state or condition : put right : adjust

right all matters to our satisfaction

b. chiefly dialect : to set in order : clear from a disorderly condition : repair — often used with up

air the beds and right the room — St. John Honeywood

the old fence … was righted up to keep creatures out — George Washington


a. : to bring (as a ship or conveyance) back into the proper, normal, or natural position : restore to an upright or vertical position

the room righted itself — Agnes S. Turnbull

right a capsized boat

in the hope that things will right themselves — Bernard De Voto

b. : to bring (oneself) back to one's balance or footing : recover the balance, equilibrium, or footing of (oneself)

tripped but righted himself

intransitive verb

: to reassume the proper position : recover the natural position : become upright

the ship slowly righted again

- right the helm

V. noun

( -s )

Etymology: by alteration

archaic : rite

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.