righteous

adjective
righ·teous | \ ˈrī-chəs \

Definition of righteous 

1 : acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin

2a : morally right or justifiable a righteous decision

b : arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality righteous indignation

3 slang : genuine, excellent

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Other words from righteous

righteously adverb
righteousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for righteous

moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous, noble mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong. the basic moral values of a community ethical may suggest the involvement of more difficult or subtle questions of rightness, fairness, or equity. committed to the highest ethical principles virtuous implies moral excellence in character. not a religious person, but virtuous nevertheless righteous stresses guiltlessness or blamelessness and often suggests the sanctimonious. wished to be righteous before God and the world noble implies moral eminence and freedom from anything petty, mean, or dubious in conduct and character. had the noblest of reasons for seeking office

Examples of righteous in a Sentence

The mix of Yorkshire-inherited bluntness and a caustic, chirpy South London cynicism (vividly parodied and perhaps too endearingly celebrated in the voice of Dora Chance, narrator of Wise Children) stops her from sounding righteous or dogmatic. —Hermione Lee, Times Literary Supplement, 19 June 1992 I didn't know until long after I was grown that Grandpa Durham—that stern and righteous Baptist—sometimes made persimmon beer and cooled it in the cistern. —Jim W. Corder, Chronicle of a Small Town, 1989 He was foreman at Lyman's North End foundry, the largest stove-making foundry in the city, and had risen in eleven years, despite his lung ailment, from apprentice to moulder to chief grievance spokesman, a voice of righteous reason from below. —William Kennedy, Harper's, March 1988 The Believers tried to lead a simple, righteous life, practicing pacifism and confession of sins and recognizing the equality of all humankind. —Robert P. Emlen, Natural History, September 1987 a righteous man can be trusted to act honorably regardless of the circumstances righteous behavior is its own reward
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Recent Examples on the Web

Hopefully, the ruling will deter California’s politicians from continuing to trample on constitutional rights in their self-righteous fervor to impose their versions of political correctness on the state’s residents. Dan Walters, SFChronicle.com, "Supreme Court voids California law, upholds free speech," 27 June 2018 One of the things that motivated my old friend Andrew Breitbart was his righteous indignation at being called a racist. Anchorage Daily News, "Let’s hope Bannon never comes back from European tour," 20 Mar. 2018 Rob Reiner and Woody Harrelson — Woody Harrelson! — as righteous journalists? Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Liberal outrage in Rob Reiner's 'Shock and Awe'," 12 July 2018 This righteous zeal came from an unwillingness to cut a break for anyone who had essential testimony, from a feeling that his allegiance had to be to the truth of history and to the millions who had died. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Appreciation: Director Claude Lanzmann's 'Shoah' changed our understanding of the Holocaust — and altered documentary filmmaking," 6 July 2018 But Flynn’s also at her most righteous in Sharp Objects, fiddling with the all-American—cheerleading, day-drinking, hunting practice—to seek the rot within. Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "Sharp Objects Is Stunning, Raw, and Violently Beautiful," 5 July 2018 Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, of Brazil, is the sort of human being that English and American soccer pundits, schooled in the cult of manly stoicism and prone to self-righteous sermons about fair play, were born to disdain. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Annoying Genius Who Makes the World Cup Worth Watching," 5 July 2018 Whether the historically self-righteous Facebook will prove as willing to re-examine Zuckerberg’s role is another matter entirely. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Could Mark Zuckerberg Face a Coup d'Etat at Facebook?," 26 June 2018 Their conversation is righteous, thought-provoking, and important. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "The Weight Issue: A Letter from the Editor," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'righteous.' 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 righteous

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for righteous

alteration of earlier rightuous, alteration of Middle English rightwise, rightwos, from Old English rihtwīs, from riht, noun, right + wīs wise

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Statistics for righteous

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for righteous

The first known use of righteous was in 1530

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More Definitions for righteous

righteous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of righteous

: morally good : following religious or moral laws

: caused by something that you believe is not morally right or fair

righteous

adjective
righ·teous | \ ˈrī-chəs \

Kids Definition of righteous

1 : doing or being what is just or proper righteous people a righteous action

2 : caused by an insult to what is believed to be just or proper righteous anger

Other words from righteous

righteously adverb righteously angry
righteousness noun

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Comments on righteous

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