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

  • adjective Right or proper; just.
  • adjective Having a just or proper claim.
  • adjective Held or owned by just or proper claim.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Righteous; upright; just and good.
  • Just; consonant to justice: as, a rightful cause; a rightful war.
  • Having the right or just claim according to established laws: as, the rightful heir to a throne or an estate.
  • Being or belonging by right or just claim: as, one's rightful property.
  • Proper; suitable; appropriate.
  • =Syn. 2-4. Just, Upright, etc. (see righteous), true, lawful, proper.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Righteous; upright; just; good; -- said of persons.
  • adjective Consonant to justice; just.
  • adjective Having the right or just claim according to established laws; being or holding by right
  • adjective Belonging, held, or possessed by right, or by just claim

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective By right, by law.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having a legally established claim
  • adjective legally valid


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • We're live as he shows up to take what he calls his rightful place.

    CNN Transcript Jan 6, 2009 2009

  • He expressed appreciation for South Africa's support of what he termed a rightful struggle.

    ANC Daily News Briefing 2003

  • Actions like these will make it very hard for your sons to claim what you refer to as their rightful share. Chronicle 2010

  • Kansas is not THAT cold (although it might not be in rightful relativity compared to Minnesota) suz on

    Green Christmas 2003

  • Obedience: to God, to conscience, to those in rightful authority.

    Prudence Crandall, Woman of Courage 1955

  • England, and incite the people to bring back him they called their rightful king.

    In the Wars of the Roses A Story for the Young Evelyn Everett-Green 1894

  • He does not purpose to come back to France unless he whom he calls his rightful king again rules the land.

    The Eagle of the Empire A Story of Waterloo Cyrus Townsend Brady 1890

  • An elfin man of doleful mien, Mr. Wisdom was often described as the rightful heir to

    NYT > Home Page By MARGALIT FOX 2010

  • "Sound now the horn which King Oberon did give you-for this is so great a peril that he will grant your call a rightful one."

    Huon of the Horn Norton, Andre 1951

  • This hall has been called his rightful kingdom; he sits among the other minstrels consciously like a young monarch.

    The Wagnerian Romances Gertrude Hall Brownell 1912


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  • a1122 O.E. Chron. (Laud MS.) an. 1100, Eall thet the Gode waes laedh & rihtfullan mannan..waes asgewunelic on thisan lande.

    May 26, 2008

  • See pointing the brie.

    January 23, 2010

  • Ummmm....what??

    January 23, 2010

  • From chained_bear on pointing the brie: "In fact, this situation is exactly why the word 'rightful' was coined." :-)

    January 24, 2010

  • I got that, it's the travis post that eludes me!

    January 24, 2010

  • (I) see.

    January 24, 2010

  • (H)mmmmmmmm...

    January 24, 2010