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(used with a plural verb) .
a rights worker.
in accordance with what is good, proper, or just:
right conduct.
in conformity with fact, reason, truth, or some standard or principle; correct:
the right solution; the right answer.
correct in judgment, opinion, or action.
fitting or appropriate; suitable:
to say the right thing at the right time.
most convenient, desirable, or favorable:
Omaha is the right location for a meatpacking firm.
of, relating to, or located on or near the side of a person or thing that is turned toward the east when the subject is facing north (opposed to ).
in a satisfactory state; in good order:
to put things right.
sound, sane, or normal:
to be in one’s right mind; She wasn’t right in her head when she made the will.
in good health or spirits:
I don’t feel quite right today.
principal, front, or upper:
the right side of cloth.
(often initial capital letter) of or relating to political conservatives or their beliefs.
socially approved, desirable, or influential:
to go to the right schools and know the right people.
formed by or with reference to a perpendicular:
a right angle.
a right line.
Geometry. having an axis perpendicular to the base:
a right cone.
Mathematics. pertaining to an element of a set that has a given property when placed on the right of an element or set of elements of the given set:
a right identity.
genuine; authentic:
the right owner.
a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral:
You have a right to say what you please.
Sometimes, rights. that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc.:
women’s rights; Freedom of speech is a right of all Americans.
adherence or obedience to moral and legal principles and authority.
that which is morally, legally, or ethically proper:
to know right from wrong.
a moral, ethical, or legal principle considered as an underlying cause of truth, justice, morality, or ethics.
Sometimes, rights. the interest or ownership a person, group, or business has in property:
He has a 50-percent right in a silver mine. The author controls the screen rights for the book.
the property itself or its value.

the privilege, usually preemptive, that accrues to the owners of the stock of a corporation to subscribe to additional shares of stock or securities convertible into stock at an advantageous price.
Often, rights. the privilege of subscribing to a specified amount of a stock or bond issue, or the document certifying this privilege.

that which is in accord with fact, reason, propriety, the correct way of thinking, etc.
the state or quality or an instance of being correct.
the side that is normally opposite to that where the heart is; the direction toward that side:
to turn to the right.
a right-hand turn:
Make a right at the top of the hill.
the portion toward the right, as of troops in battle formation:
Our right crumbled.
(in a pair) the member that is shaped for, used by, or situated on the right side:
Is this shoe a left or a right?
the right hand:
Jab with your left and punch with your right.
the Right.

the complex of individuals or organized groups opposing change in a liberal direction and usually advocating maintenance of the established social, political, or economic order.
the position held by these people:
The Depression led to a movement away from the Right.
Compare 1 (defs 6a, b).

(usually initial capital letter) the part of a legislative assembly, especially in continental Europe, that is situated on the right side of the presiding officer and that is customarily assigned to members of the legislature who hold more conservative or reactionary views than the rest of the members.
the members of such an assembly who sit on the Right.
Boxing. a blow delivered by the right hand:
a right to the jaw.
Baseball. .
in a straight or direct line; straight; directly:
right to the bottom; to come right home.
quite or completely; all the way:
My hat was knocked right off.
immediately; promptly:
right after dinner.
exactly; precisely:
right here.
correctly or accurately:
to guess right.
uprightly or righteously:
to obey one’s conscience and live right.
properly or fittingly:
to behave right.
advantageously, favorably, or well:
to turn out right.
toward the ; on or to the right:
to keep right; to turn right.
Archaic or Dialect. very; extremely:
a right fine day.
very (used in certain titles):
the right reverend.
to put in or restore to an upright position:
to right a fallen lamp.
to put in proper order, condition, or relationship:
to right a crookedly hung picture.
to bring into conformity with fact; correct:
to right one’s point of view.
to do justice to; avenge:
to be righted in court.
to redress, as a wrong.
to resume an upright or the proper position:
After the storm the saplings righted.
by rights, in fairness; justly:
You should by rights have been asked your opinion on the matter.
in one’s own right, by reason of one’s own ability, ownership, etc.; in or of oneself, as independent of others:
He is a rich man in his own right.
in the right, having the support of reason or law; correct:
It pays to be stubborn when one is in the right.
right and left, on every side; in all directions:
throwing his clothes right and left; members resigning right and left.
right away / off, without hesitation; immediately:
She made a good impression right off.
right on, Slang. exactly right; precisely.
too right, Australian Slang.

(used as an expression of emphatic agreement.)
okay: “Can we meet tonight?” “Too right.”.

to rights, into proper condition or order:
to set a room to rights.
Contemporary Examples

The DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, also furthers the cause of LGBT rights, but, in many ways, for the wrong reasons.
In DOMA, Prop 8 Ruling, the Supreme Court Put Procedure Over People Adam Winkler June 25, 2013

He answered that artists had only rights and no responsibilities.
Sebastian Barry’s Quarrel With Irish History J.P. O’Malley May 6, 2014

The triumph of access over ownership has changed the way we think about rights.
How Young People Are Destroying Liberty James Poulos October 10, 2014

The NRA is about upholding Second Amendment rights and teaching people to be responsible with those freedoms.
Why I Love Guns Meghan McCain May 13, 2009

So when constituents demanded that he pass a patients’ bill of rights in the early 2000s, he fought hard for it.
Mac Is Back Reihan Salam September 1, 2009

Historical Examples

It is no offence, therefore, by God to speak of His justice and His rights.
Holy in Christ Andrew Murray

Things as trifling as the turning of a shell may restore you to your rights.
Philothea Lydia Maria Child

It has too often been placed on rights rather than on duties.
The Country-Life Movement in the United States L.H. Bailey

We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

We have left the dining-room and parlor and hall to be put to rights to-morrow.
The Haunted Homestead E. D. E. N. Southworth

in accordance with accepted standards of moral or legal behaviour, justice, etc: right conduct
in accordance with fact, reason, or truth; correct or true: the right answer
appropriate, suitable, fitting, or proper: the right man for the job
most favourable or convenient; preferred: the right time to act
in a satisfactory condition; orderly: things are right again now
indicating or designating the correct time: the clock is right
correct in opinion or judgment
sound in mind or body; healthy or sane
(usually prenominal) of, designating, or located near the side of something or someone that faces east when the front is turned towards the north related adjective dextral
(usually prenominal) worn on a right hand, foot, etc
(sometimes capital) of, designating, supporting, belonging to, or relating to the political or intellectual right (see sense 39)
(sometimes capital) conservative or reactionary: the right wing of the party

formed by or containing a line or plane perpendicular to another line or plane
having the axis perpendicular to the base: a right circular cone
straight: a right line

relating to or designating the side of cloth worn or facing outwards
(informal) (intensifier): a right idiot
in one’s right mind, sane
(Austral & NZ, informal) she’ll be right, that’s all right; not to worry
the right side of

in favour with: you’d better stay on the right side of him
younger than: she’s still on the right side of fifty

(Austral & NZ, informal) too right, an exclamation of agreement
in accordance with correctness or truth; accurately: to guess right
in the appropriate manner; properly: do it right next time!
in a straight line; directly: right to the top
in the direction of the east from the point of view of a person or thing facing north
absolutely or completely; utterly: he went right through the floor
all the way: the bus goes right to the city centre
without delay; immediately or promptly: I’ll be right over
exactly or precisely: right here
in a manner consistent with a legal or moral code; justly or righteously: do right by me
in accordance with propriety; fittingly or suitably: it serves you right
to good or favourable advantage; well: it all came out right in the end
(esp in religious titles) most or very: right reverend
(informal or dialect) (intensifier): I’m right glad to see you
right, left, and centre, on all sides; from every direction
(informal) right off the bat, as the first in a series; to begin with
any claim, title, etc, that is morally just or legally granted as allowable or due to a person: I know my rights
anything that accords with the principles of legal or moral justice
the fact or state of being in accordance with reason, truth, or accepted standards (esp in the phrase in the right)
(Irish) an obligation or duty: you had a right to lock the door
the right side, direction, position, area, or part: the right of the army, look to the right
(often capital) the right, the supporters or advocates of social, political, or economic conservatism or reaction, based generally on a belief that things are better left unchanged (opposed to radical or left)

a punch with the right hand
the right hand


(often pl) the privilege of a company’s shareholders to subscribe for new issues of the company’s shares on advantageous terms
the negotiable certificate signifying this privilege

by right, by rights, properly; justly: by rights you should be in bed
in one’s own right, having a claim or title oneself rather than through marriage or other connection: a peeress in her own right
to rights, consistent with justice, correctness, or orderly arrangement: he put the matter to rights
verb (mainly transitive)
(also intransitive) to restore to or attain a normal, esp an upright, position: the raft righted in a few seconds
to make (something) accord with truth or facts; correct
to restore to an orderly state or condition; put right
to make reparation for; compensate for or redress (esp in the phrase right a wrong)
sentence substitute

indicating that a statement has been understood
asking whether a statement has been understood
indicating a subdividing point within a discourse

an expression of agreement or compliance

“morally correct,” Old English riht “just, good, fair; proper, fitting; straight, not bent, direct, erect,” from Proto-Germanic *rekhtaz (cf. Old Frisian riucht “right,” Old Saxon reht, Middle Dutch and Dutch recht, Old High German reht, German recht, Old Norse rettr, Gothic raihts), from PIE root *reg- “move in a straight line,” also “to rule, to lead straight, to put right” (see regal; cf. Greek orektos “stretched out, upright;” Latin rectus “straight, right;” Old Persian rasta- “straight, right,” aršta- “rectitude;” Old Irish recht “law;” Welsh rhaith, Breton reiz “just, righteous, wise”).

Cf. slang straight (adj.1) “honest, morally upright,” and Latin rectus “right,” literally “straight,” Lithuanian teisus “right, true,” literally “straight.” Greek dikaios “just” (in the moral and legal sense) is from dike “custom.” As an emphatic, meaning “you are right,” it is recorded from 1580s; use as a question meaning “am I not right?” is from 1961. The sense in right whale is “justly entitled to the name.” Right stuff “best human ingredients” is from 1848, popularized by Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book about the first astronauts. Right of way is attested from 1767. Right angle is from late 14c.

“opposite of left,” early 12c., riht, from Old English riht, which did not have this sense but meant “good, proper, fitting, straight” (see right (adj.1)). The notion is of the right hand as the “correct” hand. The usual Old English word for this was swiþra, literally “stronger.” “The history of words for ‘right’ and ‘left’ shows that they were used primarily with reference to the hands” [Buck]. Cf. similar sense evolution in Dutch recht, German recht “right (not left),” from Old High German reht, which meant only “straight, just.”

The usual PIE root (*dek-) is represented by Latin dexter (see dexterity). Other derivations on a similar pattern to English right are French droit, from Latin directus “straight;” Lithuanian labas, literally “good;” and Slavic words (Bohemian pravy, Polish prawy, Russian pravyj) from Old Church Slavonic pravu, literally “straight,” from PIE *pro-, from root *per- (1) “forward, through” (see per).

The political sense of “conservative” is first recorded 1794 (adj.), 1825 (n.), a translation of French Droit “the Right, Conservative Party” in the French National Assembly (1789; see left (adj.)).

Old English rihtan “to straighten, rule, set up, set right, amend; guide, govern; restore, replace,” from riht (adj.); see right (adj.1). Cf. Old Norse retta “to straighten,” Old Saxon rihtian, Old Frisian riuchta, German richten, Gothic garaihtjan. Related: Righted; righting.

Old English riht (West Saxon, Kentish), reht (Anglian), “that which is morally right, duty, obligation,” also “rule of conduct; law of a land;” also “what someone deserves; a just claim, what is due; correctness, truth; a legal entitlement, a privilege,” from the root of right (adj.1). Meaning “the right” (as opposed to the left) is from mid-13c.; political use from 1825. From early 14c. as “a right action, a good deed.” Meaning “a blow with the right fist” is from 1898. The phrase to rights “at once, straightway” is 1660s, from sense “in a proper manner” (Middle English).

Old English rehte, rihte “in a straight or direct manner,” from right (adj.1). Right on! as an exclamation of approval first recorded 1925 in black slang, popularized mid-1960s by Black Panther movement.

Related Terms

dead to rights, give someone his rights


Reliable; safe: He assured them his partner was all right (1856+)


Yes; correct: Did you say left? Right! (1588+) question Am I not right? CAPEESH, ok: He’s in charge, right? (1961+)

Related Terms

all right, all right already, dead to rights, fly right, hang a right

Related Terms

mister right

right and left
right as rain
right away
right in the head
right of way
right off
right off the bat
right on
right out
right side of the tracks
right side, on someone’s
right tack
right up one’s alley

also see:

all right
all right for you
all right with one
by rights
come (right) out with
dead to rights
get right
give one’s eyeteeth (right arm)
go right
go (right) through one
hang a left (right)
have a right to
have a screw loose (one’s head screwed on right)
heart in the right place
hit (right) between the eyes
in one’s own right
in one’s right mind
in the right
left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing
might makes right
not right in the head
(right) on the money
on the right foot
on the right tack
play one’s cards right
price is right
put right
sail (right) through
serve one right
set right
set to rights
step in the right direction
strike the right note
that’s right
turn out all right
two wrongs do not make a right
when it comes (right down) to


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