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right definition


This page has 50 definitions of right in English, Middle English, and Spanish, Castilian. Right is an adjective, an adverb, interjection, noun and verb. Examples of how to use right in a sentence are shown. Also define these 65 related words and terms: straight, geometry, perpendicular, correct, just, true, appropriate, healthy, sane, competent, all right, assistance, arrow, outward, politics, conservative, right, exactly, precisely, immediately, directly, very, extremely, quite, actually, truly, really, manner, agree, whatever, opinion, signpost, discussion, discourse, justice, law, reason, entitlement, copyright, ensemble, political, conservatives, right side, surfing, wave, left, upright, relieve, restore, assert, regain, good, deed, ruling, judgement, rule, privilege, bent, real, genuine, authentic, natural, undisturbed, baseball, and right fielder.

English right definition

Alternative forms


Etymology 1

From Middle English right, riȝt, reȝt, from Old English riht, ryht, reht (right), from Proto-Germanic *rehtaz (right, direct), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵtós (having moved in a straight line), from *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 and Recht, Swedish rätt and rät, Danish ret, Norwegian Bokmål rett, Norwegian Nynorsk rett, and Icelandic rétt. The Indo-European root is also the source of Ancient Greek ὀρεκτός (orektós) and Latin rēctus; Albanian drejt was borrowed from Latin.


right (comparative righter or more right, superlative rightest or rightmost)

  1. (archaic) Straight, not bent.
    a right line
  2. (geometry) Of an angle, having a size of 90 degrees, or one quarter of a complete rotation; the angle between two perpendicular lines.
    The kitchen counter formed a right angle with the back wall.
  3. (geometry) Of a geometric figure, incorporating a right angle between edges, faces, axes, etc.
    a right triangle, a right prism, a right cone
  4. Complying with justice, correctness or reason; correct, just, true.
    I thought you'd made a mistake, but it seems you were right all along.
    It's not right that one person gets all the credit for the group's work.
    • 1610, John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding/Book II
      If there be no prospect beyond the grave, the inference is certainly right, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."
    • 1808, Bishop Joseph Hall, Devotional works
      there are some dispositions blame-worthy in men, which are yet, in a right sense, holily ascribed unto God; as unchangeableness, and irrepentance.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge Chapter 13
      What do you send me into London for, giving me only the right to call for my dinner at the Black Lion, which you’re to pay for next time you go, as if I was not to be trusted with a few shillings? Why do you use me like this? It’s not right of you. You can’t expect me to be quiet under it.
    • January 4 2018, Catherine Ford in the Calgary Herald, Religious-based health care raises ethical questions
      But when that patient requests access to medical care that violates some religious tenet, is it right that he or she either be denied outright or forced to seek an alternative facility?
  5. Appropriate, perfectly suitable; fit for purpose.
    Is this the right software for my computer?
  6. Healthy, sane, competent.
    I'm afraid my father is no longer in his right mind.
    • Sane definition
      Being in a healthy condition; not deranged; thinking rationally. (1 of 3 sane definitions)
  7. Real; veritable (used emphatically).
    You've made a right mess of the kitchen!
    • 2016, Sarah Harvey, A Laugh-out-loud Modern Love Story
      He's got a wicked sense of fun, he can be a right laugh, he's ever so broadminded – ooh, and he's got a lovely broad chest too.
    • 1670, John Milton, The History of Britain
      [] in this battle and whole business the Britons never more plainly manifested themselves to be right barbarians: no rule, no foresight, no forecast, experience, or estimation
  8. (Australia) All right; not requiring assistance.
    • 1986 David Williamson, "What If You Died Tomorrow," Collected plays, Volume 1, Currency Press, p310
      KIRSTY: I suppose you're hungry. Would you like something to eat? / KEN: No. I'm right, thanks.
    • 2001 Catherine Menagé, Access to English, National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research, NSW: Sydney, p25
      When the sales assistant sees the customer, she asks Are you right, sir? This means Are you all right? She wants to know if he needs any help.
    • 2001 Morris Gleitzman, Two weeks with the Queen, Pan Macmillan Australia, p75
      'You lost?' / Colin spun round. Looking at him was a nurse, her eyebrows raised. / 'No, I'm right, thanks,' said Colin.'
  9. (dated) Most favourable or convenient; fortunate.
    • c. 1707 Joseph Adsison, The Tatler
      The lady has been disappointed on the right side.
  10. Designating the side of the body which is positioned to the east if one is facing north. This arrow points to the reader's right: →
    After the accident, her right leg was slightly shorter than her left.
  11. Designed to be placed or worn outward.
    the right side of a piece of cloth
  12. (politics) Pertaining to the political right; conservative.
Derived terms
Terms derived from right (adjective)
Related terms
Terms related to right (adjective)
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


Etymology 2

From Middle English right, righte, from Old English rihte, rehte (right; rightly; due; directly; straight), from Proto-Germanic *rehta, from *rehtaz (right; straight).


right (not comparable)

  1. On the right side.
  2. Towards the right side.
  3. Exactly, precisely.
    The arrow landed right in the middle of the target.
    Luckily we arrived right at the start of the film.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand. We spent consider'ble money getting 'em reset, and then a swordfish got into the pound and tore the nets all to slathers, right in the middle of the squiteague season.
  4. Immediately, directly.
    Can't you see it? It's right beside you!
    Tom was standing right in front of the TV, blocking everyone's view.
  5. (Britain, US, dialect) Very, extremely, quite.
    I made a right stupid mistake there, didn't I?
    I stubbed my toe a week ago and it still hurts right much.
    • 1966, Jacqueline Susann, Valley of the Dolls[1], page 214:
      That's long enough for any small town." Lyon leaned forward. "Do you like Lawrenceville, Mr. Hill?" The driver cocked his head. "Aeah. Why not? Born here. It's a right nice town
    • 2004, Jon Sharpe, Nebraska nightmare:
      Well, that would be right neighborly of you, miss.
    • 2005, Linda Beaulieu, The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, page 63:
      A right neighborly time.
    • 2006, Lauraine Snelling, The Reapers' Song, page 286:
      “Something to eat would be right neighborly Where in tarnation are we?” “We'll be in Minneapolis in an hour or two.”
    • 2008, Luke Cypher, Red Mesa, page 101:
      But it would be right neighborly and Christian of you to put your own wants aside for a spell.
    • 2011, Ann Hite, Ghost on Black Mountain:
      The fog was right hard to see through so I was on Tom Pritchard before I saw him.
  6. According to fact or truth; actually; truly; really.
  7. In a correct manner.
    Do it right or don't do it at all.
  8. (dated, still used in some titles) To a great extent or degree.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 13, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      He b'iled right over, and the tongue-lashing he give that boss Right Liver beat anything I ever listened to. There was heap of Scriptur' language in it, and more brimstone than you'd find in a match factory.
    Sir, I am right glad to meet you …
    Members of the Queen's Privy Council are styled The Right Honourable for life.
    The Right Reverend Monsignor Guido Sarducci.
Usage notes

In the US, the word "right" is used as an adverb meaning "very, quite" in most of the major dialect areas, including the Southern US, Appalachia, New England, and the Midwest, though the usage is not part of standard US English. In the UK also it is not part of the standard language but is regarded as stereotypical of the dialects of northern England, though it occurs in other dialects also.

Derived terms
Related terms



  1. Yes, that is correct; I agree.
    • Agree definition
      To harmonize in opinion, statement, or action; to be in unison or concord; to be or become united or consistent; to concur. (1 of 8 agree definitions)
  2. I agree with whatever you say; I have no opinion.
  3. Signpost word to change the subject in a discussion or discourse.
    - After that interview, I don't think we should hire her.
    - Right — who wants lunch?
  4. Used to check agreement at the end of an utterance.
    You're going, right?
  5. Used to add seriousness or decisiveness before a statement.
    • 1987, Withnail and I:
      Withnail: Right ... I'm gonna do the washing up.
Derived terms

Etymology 3

From Middle English right, righte, reght, reghte, riȝt, riȝte, from Old English riht, reht, ġeriht (that which is right, just, or proper; a right; due; law; canon; rule; direction; justice; equity; standard), from Proto-West Germanic *reht, from Proto-Germanic *rehtą (a right), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵtom, from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵt- (to straighten; direct). Cognate with Dutch recht (a right; privilege), German Recht (a right).


right (plural rights)

  1. That which complies with justice, law or reason.
    We're on the side of right in this contest.
  2. A legal, just or moral entitlement.
    You have no right to go through my personal diary.
    • 1825, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk
      There are no rights whatever, without corresponding duties.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “3/19/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
      Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house ; he was not at all a good fisherman, but one must do something ; one generally, however, banged a ball with a squash-racket against a wall.
    • 2013 August 10, Schumpeter, “Cronies and capitols”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      Policing the relationship between government and business in a free society is difficult. Businesspeople have every right to lobby governments, and civil servants to take jobs in the private sector.
  3. The right side or direction.
    The pharmacy is just on the right past the bookshop.
  4. The right hand or fist.
  5. The authority to perform, publish, film, or televise a particular work, event, etc.; a copyright.
    • Copyright definition
      The right by law to be the entity which determines who may publish, copy and distribute a piece of writing, music, picture or other work of authorship. (1 of 2 copyright definitions)
  6. (politics) The ensemble of right-wing political parties; political conservatives as a group.
    The political right holds too much power.
  7. The outward or most finished surface, as of a coin, piece of cloth, a carpet, etc.
    Synonym: (of fabric) right side
    • 1890, The Woman's World, page 434:
      Simple cross-stitch, with a space between each stitch, may be worked in two rows, in which case the completed stitch on the wrong sides alternates with that on the right.
    • 1913, Woman's Home Companion - Volume 40, page 40:
      For the large size, two pieces of silk, eighteen inches wide and twenty-seven inches long, are sewed together at three sides, rights together, leaving one end open.
    • 1918, Pacific Rural Press - Volume 95, page 392:
      In case there is a right and wrong side to the tops, put two rights together.
    • Right Side definition
      The side of a fabric, often with a more visible color or pattern, that is intended to face outward on a finished project. (1 of 2 right side definitions)
  8. (surfing) A wave breaking from right to left (viewed from the shore).
    Antonym: left
Derived terms

Etymology 4

From Middle English righten, reghten, riȝten, from Old English rihtan, ġerihtan (to straighten, judge, set upright, set right), from Proto-West Germanic *rihtijan, from Proto-Germanic *rihtijaną (to straighten; rectify; judge).


right (third-person singular simple present rights, present participle righting, simple past and past participle righted)

  1. (transitive) To correct.
    Righting all the wrongs of the war immediately will be impossible.
  2. (transitive) To set upright.
    The tow-truck righted what was left of the automobile.
  3. (intransitive) To return to normal upright position.
    When the wind died down, the ship righted.
  4. (transitive) To do justice to; to relieve from wrong; to restore rights to; to assert or regain the rights of.
    to right the oppressed
    • c. 1592, William Shakespeare, Richard III
      So just is God, to right the innocent.
    • 1776, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, Declaration of Independence
      All experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Derived terms

Further reading

  • right at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • right in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.


Middle English right definition

Alternative forms


From Old English riht.



right (plural rightes or righten)

  1. A good deed, right action
  2. A just or equitable action
  3. A law, ruling, judgement or rule
    • Ruling definition
      That rules; predominant; chief; reigning; controlling.
    • Judgement definition
      Alternative spelling of judgment.
  4. A right, entitlement or privilege
  5. Truth, correctness
  6. right (direction; as opposed to the left)




right (plural and weak singular righte, comparative rightre, superlative rightest)

  1. straight, not bent
    • Bent definition
      simple past tense and past participle of bend
  2. On the or at the right (as opposed to left)
  3. Morally correct or justified
  4. Legally correct or justified
  5. real, genuine, authentic, true
  6. natural, undisturbed

Related terms



Spanish right definition


From English right fielder.


right m (plural rights)

  1. (baseball) right fielder
    • Baseball definition
      A sport common in North America, the Caribbean, and Japan, in which the object is to strike a ball so that one of a nine-person team can run counter-clockwise among four bases, resulting in the scoring of a run. The team with the most runs after termination of play, usually nine innings, wins. (1 of 3 baseball definitions)
    • Right Fielder definition
      The outfield defensive player that stands to the right of the field as viewed from home plate.