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Alternative forms[edit]


  • (UK) enPR: rīt, IPA(key): /ˈɹaɪt/
  • (US) enPR: rīt, IPA(key): /ˈɹaɪt/, [ˈɹaɪʔ(t̚)]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (adverb: exactly; immediately):
    (dialectal, includes Western Canada, Northern England, Midlands) IPA(key): /ˈɹeɪt/, [ˈɹeɪʔt̚]
  • Rhymes: -aɪt
  • Homophones: rite, wright, Wright, write, rate (dialectal; certain senses only)

Etymology 1[edit]

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


right (comparative righter, superlative rightest)

  1. (archaic) Straight, not bent.
    a right line
  2. 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. 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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Locke
      If there be no prospect beyond the grave, the inference is [] right, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."
    • (Can we date this quote?) Bishop Joseph Hall
      [] there are some dispositions blame-worthy in men, which are yet, in a right sense, holily ascribed unto God; as unchangeableness, and irrepentance.
  4. Appropriate, perfectly suitable; fit for purpose.
    Is this the right software for my computer?
  5. Healthy, sane, competent.
    I'm afraid my father is no longer in his right mind.
  6. Real; veritable.
    You've made a right mess of the kitchen!
    • (Can we date this quote?) Milton
      In this battle, [] the Britons never more plainly manifested themselves to be right barbarians.
  7. (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.'
  8. (dated) Most favourable or convenient; fortunate.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Spectator
      The lady has been disappointed on the right side.

right (comparative more right, superlative rightmost)

  1. Designating the side of the body which is positioned to the east if one is facing north. This arrow points to the right: →
    After the accident, her right leg was slightly shorter than her left.
  2. Designed to be placed or worn outward.
    the right side of a piece of cloth
  3. (politics) Pertaining to the political right; conservative.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
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 Help:How to check translations.


right (not comparable)

  1. On the right side.
  2. Towards the right side.



  1. Yes, that is correct; I agree.
  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[edit]


Wikipedia has an article on:

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 or moral entitlement.
    You have no right to go through my personal diary.
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
      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.
    see also in right of
  3. The right side or direction.
    The pharmacy is just on the right past the bookshop.
  4. The right hand.
  5. (politics) The ensemble of right-wing political parties; political conservatives as a group.
    The political right holds too much power.
  6. The outward or most finished surface, as of a piece of cloth, a carpet, etc.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English righten, from Old English rihtan (to straighten, judge, set upright, set right), from riht, from the same ultimate source as Etymology 1, above.


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

  1. To correct.
    Righting all the wrongs of the war immediately will be impossible.
  2. 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. To do justice to; to relieve from wrong; to restore rights to; to assert or regain the rights of.
    to right the oppressed
    • Shakespeare
      So just is God, to right the innocent.
    • Jefferson
      All experience hath shown 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[edit]


right (not comparable)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. (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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Ann Hite, Ghost on Black Mountain,
      The fog was right hard to see through so I was on Tom Pritchard before I saw him.
  4. According to fact or truth; actually; truly; really.
  5. In a correct manner.
    Do it right or don't do it at all.
  6. (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[edit]

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[edit]
Related terms[edit]

External links[edit]

  • right at OneLook Dictionary Search


Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: years · always · another · #171: right · each · between · face




right m (plural rights)

  1. (baseball) right fielder