From earlier rightuous, rightwose, rightwos, rightwise, from Middle English rightwise, rightwis, from Old English rihtwīs (“righteous, just, right, justifiable”), corresponding to right + -wise (with assimilation of second element to -ous), or to right + wise (“way, manner”). Cognate with Scots richtwis (“righteous”), Old High German rehtwīsic (“righteous, just”), Icelandic réttvíss (“righteous, just”). Compare also thefteous, mighteous.
- free from sin or guilt
- moral and virtuous, suggesting sanctimonious
- justified morally
- (slang, US) awesome