rectitude

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noun rec·ti·tude \ˈrek-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of rectitude

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being straight

  2. 2 :  moral integrity :  righteousness

  3. 3 :  the quality or state of being correct in judgment or procedure

rectitude was our Word of the Day on 10/11/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of rectitude in a sentence

  1. encouraged the graduates to go on to live lives of unimpeachable rectitude and integrity

  2. has a finely honed sense of rectitude that keeps him from cheating on exams

Did You Know?

Rectitude has a righteous derivation. It comes straight from the Latin noun rectus, which means both "right" and "straight." "Rectitude" itself can mean either "straightness" (an early use referred to literal straightness of lines, although this sense is now rare) or "rightness" of character. "Rectus" has a number of other descendants in English, including "rectangle" (a figure with four right angles), "rectify" ("to make right"), "rectilinear" ("moving in or forming a straight line"), and even "rectus" itself (a medical term for any one of several straight muscles in the body).

Origin and Etymology of rectitude

Middle English, from Medieval French, from Late Latin rectitudo, from Latin rectus straight, right


First Known Use: 15th century


RECTITUDE Defined for English Language Learners

rectitude

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noun rec·ti·tude \ˈrek-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of rectitude for English Language Learners

  • : the quality of being honest and morally correct



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