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Borrowed from Latin rēctus (straight, upright), clipping of mūsculus rēctus (straight muscle).



rectus (plural recti)

  1. (anatomy) Any of several straight muscles in various parts of the body, as of the abdomen, thigh, eye etc.
    Hyponyms: rectus abdominis, rectus capitis anterior, rectus capitis lateralis, rectus capitis posterior major, rectus capitis posterior minor, rectus femoris
    1. (anatomy) Ellipsis of rectus abdominis.
    2. (anatomy) Any of a number of muscles controlling the movement of the eyeball.
      Hyponyms: superior rectus, inferior rectus, medial rectus, lateral rectus

Related terms[edit]





Perfect passive participle of regō (to keep or lead straight, to guide). Corresponds to Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵtós (having moved in a straight line), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵ- (to straighten, direct).



rēctus (feminine rēcta, neuter rēctum, comparative rēctior, superlative rēctissimus, adverb rēctē); first/second-declension participle

  1. led straight along, drawn in a straight line, straight, upright.
    Synonym: prōrsus
    • Caesar, de Bello Gallico VII, 23:
      Quae rectis lineis suos ordines servant
      Which preserve their order in straight lines
  2. (in general) right, correct, proper, appropriate, befitting.
  3. (in particular) morally right, correct, lawful, just, virtuous, noble, good, proper, honest.
    Antonyms: prāvus, iniūrius
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Proverbs.12.15:
      Via stultī rēcta in oculīs eius; quī autem sapiēns est audit cōnsilia.
      The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that is wise hearkeneth unto counsels. (Douay-Rheims trans., Challoner rev.: 1752 CE)


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative rēctus rēcta rēctum rēctī rēctae rēcta
Genitive rēctī rēctae rēctī rēctōrum rēctārum rēctōrum
Dative rēctō rēctō rēctīs
Accusative rēctum rēctam rēctum rēctōs rēctās rēcta
Ablative rēctō rēctā rēctō rēctīs
Vocative rēcte rēcta rēctum rēctī rēctae rēcta



  • rectus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • rectus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • rectus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • rectus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) in a straight line: recta (regione, via); in directum
    • (ambiguous) you were right in...; you did right to..: recte, bene fecisti quod...
    • (ambiguous) a good conscience: conscientia recta, recte facti (factorum), virtutis, bene actae vitae, rectae voluntatis
    • (ambiguous) to congratulate oneself on one's clear conscience: conscientia recte factorum erigi
    • (ambiguous) quite rightly: et recte (iure, merito)
    • (ambiguous) quite rightly: et recte (iure) quidem
    • (ambiguous) quite rightly: recte, iure id quidem