rec·​ti·​tu·​di·​nous | \ ˌrek-tə-ˈtüd-nəs How to pronounce rectitudinous (audio) , -ˈtyüd-; -ˈtü-də-nəs, -ˈtyü- \

Definition of rectitudinous

1 : characterized by rectitude
2 : piously self-righteous

Did You Know?

Rectitudinous comes to us straight from Late Latin rectitudin- (English added the -ous ending), which itself ultimately derived from the Latin word rectus, meaning both "straight" and "right." (There are other rectus descendants in English, including rectitude, of course, and rectilinear, rectangle, and rectify.) When rectitudinous first appeared in print in 1897, it was in the phrase "notoriously and unctuously rectitudinous." Although rectitude often expresses an admirable moral integrity, rectitudinous has always had a less flattering side. It can suggest not only moral uprightness but also a displeasing holier-than-thou attitude.

First Known Use of rectitudinous

1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rectitudinous

Late Latin rectitudin-, rectitudo rectitude

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rectitudinous

Time Traveler for rectitudinous

Time Traveler

The first known use of rectitudinous was in 1897

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about rectitudinous

Statistics for rectitudinous

Cite this Entry

“Rectitudinous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on rectitudinous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rectitudinous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rectitudinous

Comments on rectitudinous

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!