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Alternative forms[edit]


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.



righteous ‎(comparative more righteous, superlative most righteous)

  1. Free from sin or guilt.
  2. Moral and virtuous, suggesting sanctimonious.
  3. Justified morally.
    righteous rage
  4. (slang, US) Awesome; great.
    • 2008, Stephen King, Graduation Weekend
      Tonight the kids will go out and party down in a more righteous mode. Alcohol and not a few tabs of X will be ingested. Club music will throb through big speakers.

Derived terms[edit]



righteous ‎(third-person singular simple present righteouses, present participle righteousing, simple past and past participle righteoused)

  1. To make righteous; specifically, to justify religiously, to absolve from sin.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 101:
      Thus for the purposes of being ‘righteoused’, the Law was irrelevant; yet Paul could not bear to see all the Law disappear.