right·​ful | \ ˈrīt-fəl How to pronounce rightful (audio) \

Definition of rightful

2a : having a just or legally established claim : legitimate the rightful owner
b : held by right or just claim : legal rightful authority
3 : proper, fitting assured of his rightful place in history— Brian Duff

Other Words from rightful

rightfully \ ˈrīt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce rightful (audio) \ adverb
rightfulness noun

Examples of rightful in a Sentence

The property should be returned to its rightful owner. He will be given his rightful place in the history books.
Recent Examples on the Web Maybe Baker, the All-Pro, will get his rightful shot and end up as the ultimate quarterback of the defense with the green decal. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 28 July 2022 At the end of episode six, there’s a debate regarding Kamran’s car and who has the most rightful claim to it. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 July 2022 While the United States recognizes Guaidó as Venezuela’s rightful leader, many other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean do not. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 The question is whether Biden will invite Juan Guaidó, a Venezuelan opposition leader whom the U.S. government has recognized as the rightful leader of the country despite little domestic support. Tracy Wilkinsonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 Tonight, fans in Birmingham will have their rightful chance to showcase their love for the Southern rap icons in one show. al, 4 July 2022 Here are three key actions your brand can and should take to help return content to its rightful throne: 1. Sara Steever, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Beijing has denounced such efforts as attempts to thwart China’s rightful rise, saying it wouldn’t be constrained by American bullying. New York Times, 9 June 2022 Beijing has denounced such efforts as attempts to thwart China’s rightful rise, saying it wouldn’t be constrained by American bullying. Austin Ramzy, BostonGlobe.com, 9 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of rightful

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of rightful was before the 12th century

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right field



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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rightful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rightful. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for rightful


right·​ful | \ ˈrīt-fəl How to pronounce rightful (audio) \

Kids Definition of rightful

: lawful sense 2, proper … Grace had convinced herself that she was the rightful heir.— Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game

Other Words from rightful

rightfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb The money is rightfully his.

More from Merriam-Webster on rightful

Nglish: Translation of rightful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rightful for Arabic Speakers


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