rec·​ti·​fy | \ ˈrek-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce rectify (audio) \
rectified; rectifying

Definition of rectify

transitive verb

1 : to set right : remedy
2 : to purify especially by repeated or fractional distillation rectified alcohol
3 : to correct by removing errors : adjust rectify the calendar
4 : to make (an alternating current) unidirectional

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Other Words from rectify

rectification \ ˌrek-​tə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce rectification (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Did You Know?

Which of the following words does not share its ancestry with rectifydirect, regimen, obstruct, correct, or 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 that has no relation to rectify. It traces back to Latin struere, meaning "to build" or "to heap up."

Examples of rectify in a Sentence

The hotel management promised to rectify the problem. let me get the store manager, and he'll rectify the invoice for your order
Recent Examples on the Web Kanyoonzi said Chinese officials had assured him the situation would be rectified but did not provide specifics. NBC News, "China accused of discriminating against Africans as part of coronavirus fight," 14 Apr. 2020 Sanders' letter also communicated that in doing this, New York has violated its approved delegate selection plan, and if the situation is not rectified, the state should ultimately lose all its delegates in the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Brianna Provenzano,, "How Bernie Sanders Is Protesting The Cancellation Of New York’s Democratic Primary Election," 27 Apr. 2020 Below is a rundown of the most common issues preventing people from getting the payments and what steps the IRS recommends to rectify them. Author: Heather Long, Michelle Singletary, Anchorage Daily News, "Glitches prevent $1,200 stimulus payments from reaching millions of Americans," 16 Apr. 2020 But The Magicians worked to rectify those missteps by spending more than a single season on the fallout. Sarah Stankorb, The Atlantic, "The Magicians Is Your Next Great Binge Watch," 8 Apr. 2020 Such issues are what DART hopes to rectify by authorizing the GoLink pilot program, which will cover an 8.5-square-mile area and include a dedicated accessible taxi. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "DART authorizes trial run for on-demand transportation program in Southern Dallas-Fair Park area," 1 Apr. 2020 The agency would work with manufacturers to rectify any deficiencies and, if need be, recall the test. Ed Silverman, STAT, "FDA moves to boost coronavirus testing capacity by giving states more power," 16 Mar. 2020 If there was no chance for a shot with the Tigers, maybe the Orioles can rectify that and give him a return to the bigs at age 32. Jon Meoli,, "The Orioles want to build pitching depth this offseason. Which minor league free agents fit that bill?," 13 Nov. 2019 Cochran admits the rescue failed to fill out certain forms and says accountants are now working to rectify the problem. J. Harry Jones,, "Horse rescue owner defends euthanasia methods," 10 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rectify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rectify

circa 1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rectify

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

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Time Traveler for rectify

Time Traveler

The first known use of rectify was circa 1529

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Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rectify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for rectify


How to pronounce rectify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rectify

formal : to correct (something that is wrong)


rec·​ti·​fy | \ ˈrek-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce rectify (audio) \
rectified; rectifying

Kids Definition of rectify

: to set or make right She promised to rectify the problem.
rec·​ti·​fy | \ ˈrek-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce rectify (audio) \
rectified; rectifying

Medical Definition of rectify

1 : to purify (as alcohol) especially by repeated or fractional distillation
2 : to make (an alternating current) unidirectional

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More from Merriam-Webster on rectify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rectify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rectify

Spanish Central: Translation of rectify

Nglish: Translation of rectify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rectify for Arabic Speakers

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