AskDefine | Define right

Dictionary Definition

right adj
1 free from error; especially conforming to fact or truth; "the correct answer"; "the correct version"; "the right answer"; "took the right road"; "the right decision" [syn: correct] [ant: incorrect, incorrect]
2 being or located on or directed toward the side of the body to the east when facing north; "my right hand"; "right center field"; "a right-hand turn"; "the right bank of a river is the bank on your right side when you are facing downstream" [ant: left]
3 socially right or correct; "it isn't right to leave the party without saying goodbye"; "correct behavior" [syn: correct]
4 in conformance with justice or law or morality; "do the right thing and confess" [ant: wrong]
5 correct in opinion or judgment; "time proved him right" [syn: correct] [ant: wrong]
6 appropriate for a condition or occasion; "everything in its proper place"; "the right man for the job"; "she is not suitable for the position" [syn: proper, suitable]
7 of or belonging to the political or intellectual right [ant: left, center]
8 in or into a satisfactory condition; "things are right again now"; "put things right"
9 intended for the right hand; "a right-hand glove" [syn: right(a), right-hand(a)]
10 in accord with accepted standards of usage or procedure; "what's the right word for this?"; "the right way to open oysters" [syn: correct]
11 having the axis perpendicular to the base; "a right angle"
12 of the side of cloth or clothing intended to face outward; "the right side of the cloth showed the pattern"; "be sure your shirt is right side out" [syn: right(a)]
13 most suitable or right for a particular purpose; "a good time to plant tomatoes"; "the right time to act"; "the time is ripe for great sociological changes" [syn: good, ripe]


1 an abstract idea of that which is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature; "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"; "Certain rights can never be granted to the government but must be kept in the hands of the people"- Eleanor Roosevelt; "a right is not something that somebody gives you; it is something that nobody can take away"
2 (frequently plural) the interest possessed by law or custom in some intangible thing; "mineral rights"; "film rights"
3 location near or direction toward the right side; i.e. the side to the south when a person or object faces east; "he stood on the right" [ant: left]
4 a turn to the right; "take a right at the corner"
5 those who support political or social or economic conservatism; those who believe that things are better left unchanged [syn: right wing]
6 anything in accord with principles of justice; "he feels he is in the right"; "the rightfulness of his claim" [syn: rightfulness] [ant: wrong, wrong]
7 the hand that is on the right side of the body; "he writes with his right hand but pitches with his left"; "hit him with quick rights to the body" [syn: right hand]
8 the piece of ground in the outfield on the catcher's right [syn: right field] adv
1 precisely, exactly; "stand right here!"
2 immediately; "she called right after dinner"
3 exactly; "he fell flop on his face" [syn: flop]
4 toward or on the right; also used figuratively; "he looked right and left"; "the party has moved right" [ant: left]
5 in the right manner; "please do your job properly!"; "can't you carry me decent?" [syn: properly, decently, decent, in good order, the right way] [ant: improperly]
6 an interjection expressing agreement [syn: right on]
7 completely; "she felt right at home"; "he fell right into the trap"
8 (Southern regional intensive) very; "the baby is mighty cute"; "he's mighty tired"; "it is powerful humid"; "that boy is powerful big now"; "they have a right nice place" [syn: mighty, powerful]
9 in accordance with moral or social standards; "that serves him right"; "do right by him" [syn: justly]
10 in a correct manner; "he guessed right" [syn: correctly, aright] [ant: incorrectly, incorrectly]


1 make reparations or amends for; "right a wrongs done to the victims of the Holocaust" [syn: compensate, redress, correct] [ant: wrong]
2 put in or restore to an upright position; "They righted the sailboat that had capsized"
3 regain an upright or proper position; "The capsized boat righted again"
4 make right or correct; "Correct the mistakes"; "rectify the calculation" [syn: correct, rectify] [ant: falsify]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /ɹaɪt/, /r\aIt/
  • Rhymes with: -aɪt


Etymology 1

Old English riht, from Germanic *rekhtaz, from Indo-European *reg-to- ‘having moved in a straight line’. 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 Dutch recht, German recht/Recht, Swedish rätt, and Norwegian rett. The Indo-European root is also the source of Greek ὀρεκτός, Latin rectus.


en-adj er
  1. Straight, not bent.
  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.
  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. 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 slighly shorter than her left.
  7. (archaic, sometimes used in titles) To a great extent or degree.
    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
  8. In the context of "Politics": Pertaining to the political right; conservative.
  • Bulgarian: прав
  • Czech: pravý
  • Danish: ret, lige
  • Dutch: recht
  • Esperanto: rekta
  • Estonian: otse
  • Finnish: suora
  • French: droit
  • German: gerade
  • Hungarian: egyenes
  • Icelandic: beint, beinn, bein
  • Indonesian: lurus
  • Italian: diritto
  • Japanese: まっすぐ
  • Korean: 곧다 (godda, got-), 바르다 (bareuda)
  • Maltese: dritt, dritta
  • Ojibwe: gwayak
  • Portuguese: direito, reto
  • Russian: прямой
  • Spanish: derecho, recto, justo
  • Swedish: rak
  • Thai: ดิ่ว (diù), ตรง (dtrohng)
  • Turkish: düz
of direction


  1. Yes. Correct. I agree.
  2. Yes. I agree with whatever you say. I have no opinion.
  3. Signpost word used to change the subject in a discussion or discourse.
Derived terms


  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 talk to me like that!
  3. The right side or direction.
    The pharamcy is just on the right past the bookshop.
  4. In the context of "Politics": The ensemble of right-wing political parties; political conservatives as a group.
    The political right holds too much power.''
something one is legally entitled to
right, not left, side
The right-wing politicians and parties


  1. To correct
    Righting all the wrongs of the war will be impossible.
  2. To set upright
    The tow-truck righted what was left of the automobile.
  3. To return to normal upright position.
    When the wind died down, the ship righted.
to set upright


  1. Exactly, precisely.
    The arrow landed right in the middle of the target.
    Luckily we arrived right at the start of the film.
  2. Very, extremely, quite.
    I made a right stupid mistake there, didn't I?
    • Ann Hite, Ghost on Black Mountain,
      The fog was right hard to see through so I was on Tom Pritchard before I saw him.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

In the jurisprudence and the law, a right is the legal or moral entitlement to do or refrain from doing something, or to obtain or refrain from obtaining an action, thing or recognition in civil society. Rights serve as rules of interaction between people, and, as such, they place constraints and obligations upon the actions of individuals or groups (for example, if one has a right to life, this means that others do not have the liberty to kill him).
Most modern conceptions of rights are universalist and egalitarian — in other words, equal rights are granted to all people. There are two main modern conceptions of rights: on the one hand, the idea of natural rights holds that there is a certain list of rights enshrined in nature that cannot be legitimately modified by any human power. On the other hand, the idea of legal rights holds that rights are human constructs, created by society, enforced by governments and subject to change.
By contrast, most pre-modern conceptions of rights were hierarchical, with different people being granted different rights, and some having more rights than others. For instance, the rights of a father to be respected by his son did not indicate a duty upon the father to return that respect, and the divine right of kings to hold absolute power over their subjects did not leave room for many rights to be granted to the subjects themselves. The concept of natural right developed in the School of Salamanca in the late 16th century, and first gained widespread acceptance nearly 200 years later, during the Age of Enlightenment.
It is not generally considered necessary that a right should be understood by the holder of that right; thus rights may be recognized on behalf of another, such as children's rights or the rights of people declared mentally incompetent to understand their rights. However, rights must be understood by someone in order to have legal existence, so the understanding of rights is a social prerequisite for the existence of rights. Therefore, educational opportunities within society have a close bearing upon the people's ability to erect adequate rights structures.
There are two fundamental controversies surrounding the notion of rights: First, there is the question of the basis for rights (on what basis rights can be said to exist). Second, there is the question of the content of rights (what the rights of a person actually are).

Types of rights

In modern English and European systems of jurisprudence and law, a right is the legal or moral entitlement to do or refrain from doing something or to obtain or refrain from obtaining an action, thing or recognition in civil society. Compare with duty, referring to behaviour that is expected or required of the person, and with privilege, referring to something that can be conferred and revoked.
The specific enumeration of rights accorded to people has historically differed greatly from one century to the next, and from one regime to the next, but nowadays is normally addressed by the constitutions of the respective nations. Generally speaking (within the English and European systems) a right corresponds with a complementary obligation that others have on the same object or realm; for instance, if someone has a right to something, simultaneously another party or parties have an obligation to do something (or to abstain from doing something) in order to respect that right or to give concrete execution to that right to be(...).
Property rights provide a good example: society recognizes that individuals have title to particular property as defined by the transaction by which they acquired the property granting the individual free use and possession of the property. In many cases, especially regarding ideological and similar rights, the obligation depends on the legal system in its entirety, or on the state, or on the generical universality of other subjects submitted to the law.
Societal rights or civil rights are bestowed to its citizenry by society and are a set of obligations that are purported as a social contract. Societal rights are a privilege of membership and the benefits are limited to its members though may be extended to temporary guests. Access to societal rights is dependent on government grants and on the citizen fulfilling their obligations e.g. complying with laws and paying taxes.
The right can therefore be a faculty of doing something, of omitting or refusing to do something or of claiming something. Some interpretations express a typical form of right in the faculty of using something, and this is more often related to the right of ownership of property. The faculty (in all the above mentioned senses) can be originated by a (generical or specific) law, or by a private contract (which is sometimes exactly defined as a specific law between or among volunteer parties).
Other interpretations consider the right as a sort of freedom of something or as the object of justice. One of the definitions of justice is in fact the obligation that the legal system has toward the individual or toward the collectivity to grant respect or execution to his/her/its right, ordinarily with no need of explicit claim.
Aristotle, in the Nicomachean Ethics (book five), claims that there is a large difference between written (generalized) justice and what is actually right for the (specific) individual.
But what obscures the matter is that though what is equitable is just, it is not identical with, but a correction of, that which is just according to law.
The reason of this is that every law is laid down in general terms, while there are matters about which it is impossible to speak correctly in general terms. Where, then, it is necessary to speak in general terms, but impossible to do so correctly, the legislator lays down that which holds good for the majority of cases, being quite aware that it does not hold good for all.
The law, indeed, is none the less correctly laid down because of this defect; for the defect lies not in the law, nor in the lawgiver, but in the nature of the subject-matter, being necessarily involved in the very conditions of human action.Aristotle|The Nicomachean Ethics (10-3) (Peters' translation)
Rights can be divided into individual rights, which are held by individuals (or corporations) recognised by the legal system, and collective rights, which are held by an ensemble of people or a subgroup of people who have a certain characteristic in common. In some cases there can be an amount of tension between individual and collective rights. In other cases, the view of collective and individual rights held by one group can come into sharp and bitter conflict with the view of rights held by another group. For instance compare Manifest destiny with Trail of Tears.
With reference to the object of the right, a common general distinction is among:
  • Real rights (from the Latin word "res", thing), which include:
    • Property rights
    • Rights of use
    • Liberties
  • Personal rights, as a credit.

Important documents

See also


External links

right in Arabic: صح
right in Aragonese: Dreito
right in Czech: Právo
right in Danish: Rettighed
right in German: Recht
right in Modern Greek (1453-): Δικαίωμα
right in Spanish: Derecho subjetivo
right in Esperanto: Juro
right in Persian: حقوق (قانونی)
right in French: Droit subjectif
right in Korean: 권리
right in Italian: Diritto
right in Hebrew: זכות
right in Kirghiz: Hukuk
right in Latin: Ius
right in Dutch: Recht
right in Japanese: 権利
right in Uighur: ئوڭ
right in Polish: Prawo
right in Portuguese: Direito subjectivo
right in Romanian: Drept
right in Russian: субъективное право
right in Simple English: Rights
right in Swedish: Lag
right in Thai: สิทธิ
right in Turkish: Hak
right in Chinese: 权利

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bill of Rights, Bircher, Bourbon, Christian, Declaration of Right, Epistle side, Magna Carta, Magna Charta, OK, Petition of Right, Roger, Tory, a propos, absolute, absolute interest, absolute power, absolutely, absoluteness, absolutism, acceptable, accepted, accommodate, accord, according to Hoyle, accuracy, accurate, accurately, acknowledged, acknowledgment, ad rem, adapt, adapted, adequate, adjust, adjust to, admitted, advantageous, advantageously, advisable, all right, all there, almighty, alright, alrighty, amen, amend, appanage, applicable, apposite, appropriate, appropriately, approved, appurtenance, apropos, apt, aptly, aright, arrange, arrowlike, as is proper, as is right, as you say, assimilate, assuredly, astarboard, at once, attention to fact, attune, auspicious, authentic, authoritative, authority, avenge, awfully, aye, balanced, bang, basis, becoming, befitting, being done, beneficial, benefit, birthright, bitter-ender, blameless, bona fide, bunkum, by all means, by right, by rights, call, canonical, capitally, care for truth, cause, certainly, civil, civil liberties, civil rights, claim, clean, clearheaded, clearminded, clockwise, cognizance, comely, comeuppance, comme il faut, common, compensate, competence, competency, complete, compos mentis, condign, condignly, conditioned, conformable, congruous, conjugal right, conscientious, conservatist, conservative, constituted authority, constitutional rights, contingent interest, convenient, conventional, coordinate, correct, correctitude, correctly, correctness, credit, creditable, crediting, customary, cut to, da, de rigueur, dead, dead ahead, dead right, dead straight, decanal side, decent, decorous, defensibility, defensible, definitely, delegated authority, delicacy, demand, deserts, deserved, deserving, desirable, dexter, dextrad, dextral, dextrally, dextrocardial, dextrocerebral, dextrocular, dextrogyrate, dextrogyratory, dextropedal, dextrorotary, dextrorse, die, die-hard, diehard, direct, directly, divine right, done, dovetailing, droit, drumhead justice, due, due north, dueness, duly, easement, emend, equalize, equitable, equitable interest, equitableness, equity, erect, estate, estimable, ethical, evangelical, even, evenhanded, evenhandedness, exact, exactitude, exactly, exactness, exceedingly, excellently, expedient, expressly, extreme right-winger, face, fact, factual, faculty, fair, fair and square, fairly, fairness, faithful, faithfully, faithfulness, famously, faultless, faultlessness, favorable, favorably, feasible, felicitous, fidelity, fine, finely, fineness, firm, fit, fitted, fitten, fitting, fittingly, fix, flat, flawless, flawlessness, flush, fogyish, formal, forthright, forthwith, foundation, freedom, front, fructuous, full, full of integrity, fundamentalist, gear to, geared, genteel, genuine, give satisfaction, give-and-take, good, good enough, good reason, goodness, ground, grounds, hale, happy, hard hat, harmonize, healthy, healthy-minded, hear, high-minded, high-mindedness, high-principled, highly respectable, holding, homologate, homologize, honest, honestly, honesty, honorable, honorableness, horizontal, human rights, immaculate, immediately, imperialist, in a beeline, in a line, in all conscience, in all respects, in every respect, in line with, in reason, inalienable right, indeed, indeedy, indirect authority, indubitable, inequity, inherent authority, injustice, instantly, integrity, interest, inviolate, ipsissimis verbis, irreproachable, irretrievably, irrevocably, it is that, ja, jus divinum, just, just right, just so, justice, justifiability, justifiable, justifiableness, justification, justified, justly, justness, kerplunk, key to, kosher, law-abiding, law-loving, law-revering, lawful, lawful authority, lawfulness, legal, legal authority, legal rights, legality, legitimacy, letter-perfect, level, liberty, license, licit, likely, limitation, lineal, linear, literal, literalism, literality, literally, literalness, literatim, lucid, mais oui, make all square, make good, make plumb, make right, make uniform, make up for, manly, material basis, mathematical precision, measure, measure for measure, meet, meet and right, meetness, mend, mentally sound, merit, merited, meshing, meticulous, meticulousness, mightily, mighty, monarchist, moral, morality, most assuredly, natural right, natural rights, naturally, naturellement, nemesis, nice, nicely, niceness, nicety, nobility, noble, normal, normative, of course, of sound mind, of the faith, off, okay, old liner, on the button, on the right, only, only too, open, opportune, opportunely, option, order, orthodox, orthodoxical, oui, out-and-out, overhaul, part, pat, patch, pay reparations, percentage, perfect, perfection, perfectly, perquisite, plain, plop, plumb, plump, plunk, poetic justice, point-blank, politic, positively, power, powerful, powerfully, precise, precisely, preciseness, precision, preferable, preferred, prerogative, prescription, presumptive right, pretense, pretension, pretext, pretty, principal, principled, privilege, profitable, profitably, promising, promptly, pronto, proper, proper claim, properly, properness, property right, propitious, proportion, propriety, pure, put, put and call, put in order, put in shape, put in tune, put right, put straight, put to rights, qualified, quickly, quite, radical right, rather, rational, reactionarist, reactionary, reactionist, real, really, reason, reasonable, received, recognition, recognized, recommendable, recompense, reconcile, recondition, reconstruct, rectify, rectilineal, rectilinear, rectitude, recto, redress, reduce to order, refinement, regality, regulate, relevant, remedy, remunerate, repair, repay, reputable, requisite, requite, respectable, retributive justice, revamp, revenge, right and proper, right as rain, right away, right field, right hand, right of entry, right off, right side, right wing, right you are, right-hand, right-minded, right-wing, right-winger, right-wingish, righteous, rightful, rightful authority, rightfully, rightfulness, rightist, rightly, rightness, righto, rights, rightward, rightwardly, rightwards, rigidity, rigidly, rigor, rigorous, rigorously, rigorousness, royal prerogative, royalist, royally, rude justice, ruler-straight, sane, sane-minded, satisfactorily, satisfactory, scales of justice, scriptural, scrupulous, seasonable, seemly, sensible, sensibly, set, set in order, set right, set straight, set to rights, set up, settle, settlement, severity, sharp, sheer, similarize, simon-pure, smack, smack-dab, smooth, so, social Darwinist, sort out, sortable, sound, sound-minded, spang, speedily, splendidly, spotless, spread, square, squarely, stainless, stake, standard, standpat, standpatter, starboard, starboard tack, stark, sterling, stock option, straddle, straight, straight across, straight ahead, straight-cut, straight-front, straight-side, straight-up-and-down, straightaway, straighten out, straighten up, straightforward, straightforwards, straightly, strap, strategic, streamlined, strict, strict settlement, strictly, strictness, strip, substance, subtlety, sufficient, suitable, suitably, suited, suiting, summary justice, sure, sure thing, sure-enough, surely, swiftly, sync, synchronize, tailor, tailored, terribly, terrifically, textual, textualism, that is so, the letter, the say, the say-so, thorough, thoroughgoing, timely, title, to be desired, to be fair, to be sure, to the letter, to the point, to the purpose, to the right, together, tolerable, tory, traditional, traditionalistic, trim to, true, true up, true-blue, true-dealing, true-devoted, true-disposing, true-souled, true-spirited, truehearted, truly, trust, truth, truthful, tune, ultraconservative, unalienable rights, unalloyed, unbending, unbent, unblemished, unbowed, unbroken, uncorrupt, uncorrupted, uncurved, undefiled, undeflected, undeviating, undeviatingly, undistorted, undoubted, unerringly, unexceptional, unimpeachable, uninterrupted, unmitigated, unrelievedly, unsnarl, unspotted, unstained, unsullied, unswerving, unswervingly, untarnished, unturned, unveeringly, upper, upright, uprighteous, uprightness, upstanding, urbane, use, useful, utter, valid, vamp, veracious, verbally, verbatim, verbatim et litteratim, veridical, veritable, vertical, very, very well, vested authority, vested interest, vested right, vicarious authority, vindicate, virtue, virtuous, virtuousness, warrant, warrantability, warrantable, warranted, warrantedness, well, well and good, well-timed, what is owing, what is right, whip into shape, whole, wholesome, why yes, wise, without delay, without hesitation, word by word, word for word, worthwhile, worthy, yea, yeah, yeomanly, yep, yes, yes indeed, yes indeedy, yes sir, yes sirree, you are right, you said it, you speak truly
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