from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Conforming with or conformable to justice, law, or morality.
  • adjective In accordance with fact, reason, or truth; correct.
  • adjective Fitting, proper, or appropriate.
  • adjective Most favorable, desirable, or convenient.
  • adjective In or into a satisfactory state or condition.
  • adjective In good mental or physical health or order.
  • adjective Intended to be worn or positioned facing outward or toward an observer.
  • adjective Of, belonging to, located on, or being the side of the body to the south when the subject is facing east.
  • adjective Of, relating to, directed toward, or located on the right side.
  • adjective Located on the right side of a person facing downstream.
  • adjective Of or belonging to the political or intellectual right.
  • adjective Formed by or in reference to a line or plane that is perpendicular to another line or plane.
  • adjective Having the axis perpendicular to the base.
  • adjective Having a right angle.
  • adjective Straight; uncurved; direct.
  • adjective Archaic Not spurious; genuine.
  • noun That which is just, moral, or proper.
  • noun The direction or position on the right side.
  • noun The right side.
  • noun The right hand.
  • noun A turn in the direction of the right hand or side.
  • noun The people and groups who advocate the adoption of conservative or reactionary measures, especially in government and politics.
  • noun The opinion of those advocating such measures.
  • noun Sports A blow delivered by a boxer's right hand.
  • noun Baseball Right field.
  • noun A just or legal claim or title.
  • noun Something that is due to a person or governmental body by law, tradition, or nature.
  • noun Something, especially humane treatment, claimed to be due to animals by moral principle.
  • noun An existing stockholder's legally protected claim to purchase additional shares in a corporation ahead of those who are not currently stockholders, especially at a cost lower than market value.
  • noun The negotiable paper on which such an entitlement is indicated.
  • adverb Toward or on the right.
  • adverb In a straight line; directly.
  • adverb In the proper or desired manner; well.
  • adverb Exactly; just.
  • adverb Immediately.
  • adverb Completely; quite.
  • adverb According to law, morality, or justice.
  • adverb Accurately; correctly.
  • adverb Chiefly Southern US Considerably; very.
  • adverb Used as an intensive.
  • adverb Used in titles.
  • intransitive verb To put in or restore to an upright or proper position.
  • intransitive verb To put in order or set right; correct.
  • intransitive verb To make reparation or amends for; redress.


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

[Middle English, from Old English riht; see reg- in Indo-European roots. N., sense 3, from the fact that conservatives sit on the right side of the legislative chamber in various assemblies .]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English rihtan ("to straighten, judge, set upright, set right"), from riht, from the same ultimate source as Etymology 1, above.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English right ("right"), from Old English riht, reht ("right"), from Proto-Germanic *rehtaz (“right, direct”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵtós (“having moved in a straight line”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵ- (“to straighten, direct”). An Indo-European past participle, it became a Germanic adjective which has been used also as a noun since the common Germanic period. Cognate with West Frisian rjocht, Dutch recht, German recht/Recht, Swedish rätt and rät, Danish ret, Norwegian rett, and Icelandic rétt. The Indo-European root is also the source of Greek ὀρεκτός, Latin rectus, Albanian drejt and the Sanskrit ऋत (ṛtá).


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  • "Then began he to weep right tenderly, and said: Long have I abiden your coming, but for God’s love hold me in your arms, that my soul may depart out of my body in so good a man’s arms as ye be."

    - Thomas Malory, 'The Holy Grail'.

    September 13, 2009