verb rec·ti·fy \ˈrek-tə-ˌfī\

Definition of rectify



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to set right :  remedy

  3. 2 :  to purify (as alcohol) especially by repeated or fractional distillation

  4. 3 :  to correct by removing errors :  adjust <rectify the calendar>

  5. 4 :  to make (an alternating current) unidirectional


play \ˌrek-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən\ noun

Examples of rectify in a sentence

  1. The hotel management promised to rectify the problem.

  2. <let me get the store manager, and he'll rectify the invoice for your order>

Did You Know?

Which of the following words does not share its ancestry with rectify?

1) direct 2) regimen 3) obstruct 4) correct 5) resurrection Like rectify, four of these words ultimately come from Latin regere, which can mean to lead straight, to direct, or to rule. Correct and direct come from regere via Latin corrigere and dirigere, respectively. Resurrection comes from Latin resurgere, whose stem surgere, meaning "to rise," is a combination of sub- and regere. Regimen is from Latin regimen (position of authority, direction, set of rules), itself from regere. And rectify is from regere by way of Latin rectus (right). Obstruct is the only one of the set above that has no relation to rectify. It traces back to Latin struere, meaning "to build" or "to heap up."

Origin and Etymology of rectify

Middle English rectifien, from Anglo-French rectifier, from Medieval Latin rectificare, from Latin rectus right — more at right

First Known Use: circa 1529

Synonym Discussion of rectify

correct, rectify, emend, remedy, redress, amend, reform, revise mean to make right what is wrong. correct implies taking action to remove errors, faults, deviations, defects <correct your spelling>. rectify implies a more essential changing to make something right, just, or properly controlled or directed <rectify a misguided policy>. emend specifically implies correction of a text or manuscript <emend a text>. remedy implies removing or making harmless a cause of trouble, harm, or evil <set out to remedy the evils of the world>. redress implies making compensation or reparation for an unfairness, injustice, or imbalance <redress past social injustices>. amend, reform, revise imply an improving by making corrective changes, amend usually suggesting slight changes <amend a law>, reform implying drastic change <plans to reform the court system>, and revise suggesting a careful examination of something and the making of necessary changes <revise the schedule>.

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error <correct answers> <socially correct dress>. accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care <an accurate description>. exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth <exact measurements>. precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation <precise calibration>. nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination <makes nice distinctions>. right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault <the right thing to do>.

RECTIFY Defined for English Language Learners


verb rec·ti·fy \ˈrek-tə-ˌfī\

Definition of rectify for English Language Learners

  • : to correct (something that is wrong)

RECTIFY Defined for Kids


verb rec·ti·fy \ˈrek-tə-ˌfī\

Definition of rectify for Students



  1. :  to set or make right <She promised to rectify the problem.>

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb rec·ti·fy \ˈrek-tə-ˌfī\

Medical Definition of rectify




  1. 1:  to purify (as alcohol) especially by repeated or fractional distillation

  2. 2:  to make (an alternating current) unidirectional

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up rectify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of, relating to, or resembling a fox

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