rectitude was our Word of the Day on 10/11/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of rectitude in a Sentence
encouraged the graduates to go on to live lives of unimpeachable rectitude and integrity
has a finely honed sense of rectitude that keeps him from cheating on exams
Recent Examples of rectitude from the Web
During the eurocrisis, Merkel, alongside Wolfgang Schäuble, her finance minister, pushed a course of strict fiscal rectitude, forcing austerity on southern European member-states.
Democrats placed their faith in the Obama administration’s rectitude, and Republicans placed theirs in the intelligence community.
Americans have argued about the rectitude of the Vietnam War for nearly half a century.
To be fair, Mr. James does suggest that Britons, too, got their hands dirty, but the infelicities are framed within the moral rectitude of the mid-Victorians and their humanitarianism.
Bingham suffered too for his rectitude, never advancing significantly in the Foreign Service.
Even behind closed doors, Pence’s moral rectitude and deep religiosity govern his affect and decision-making.
Corporations are institutions driven by profit, not moral rectitude; many often do what is good for shareholders and bad for employees or the public.
As schools and campuses prepare to welcome new and returning students this fall, now more than ever, strong leadership and moral rectitude are needed.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rectitude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Right Definition of rectitude
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
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonymscharacter, decency, goodness, honesty, integrity, probity, morality, righteousness, rightness, uprightness, virtue, virtuousness
Antonymsbadness, evil, evildoing, immorality, iniquity, sin, villainy, wickedness
Related Wordshigh-mindedness, honor, incorruptibility, irreproachability, irreproachableness, right-mindedness, scrupulosity, scrupulousness; appropriateness, correctness, decorousness, decorum, etiquette, fitness, propriety, seemliness; ethics, morals
Near Antonymsimpropriety, indecency, indecorum, indiscretion; debauchery, degeneracy, degradation, depravity, perversion, pervertedness, sinfulness; crookedness, dishonesty, underhandedness, unscrupulousness; lowness, meanness, viciousness, vileness; corruption
RECTITUDE Defined for English Language Learners
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