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

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Other Words from rightful

rightfully \ ˈrīt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce rightfully (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

City officials claim the funeral homes did not have a legal right to sell the property and that the rightful owner is the city. Fox News, "Texas city takes down church's 'Jesus Welcomes You to Hawkins' sign overnight," 2 July 2019 As of late that night, police had not received a call from the rightful owner. cleveland.com, "Birthday party libation leads to crash, drunken driving: Middleburg Heights Police Blotter," 27 June 2019 Mack also posted on a Facebook page, Lost and Found Pets Baltimore City, on Sunday in hopes to return the boa constrictor to its rightful owner. Juliana Kim, baltimoresun.com, "'This one here is a doll': Baltimore man finds 8-foot boa constrictor near Lake Montebello, gives it away," 25 June 2019 The vehicle was impounded in order to be returned to the rightful owner. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Villages Police Department weekly report," 24 June 2019 Florida Holmes Beach: Police trying to find the rightful owner of a prosthetic ear that washed up on their beach got a happy phone call from South Carolina on Thursday. USA TODAY, "Arthur Ashe, missing Marilyn, pacifier-eating pup: News from around our 50 states," 21 June 2019 There have been 1,129 confiscated, with 190 of those returned to their rightful owners. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Birmingham police chief: No need for National Guard to curb violence," 21 June 2019 Title disputes also can be difficult to resolve, with multiple buyers claiming to be the rightful owner of the same car. Robert Anglen, azcentral, "These Arizona used-car buyers got caught in a scheme. Here's how you can protect yourself," 18 June 2019 Until the bombshell in season seven’s finale, when it was revealed that Jon Snow is actually a Targaryen and therefore the rightful heir to the throne, audiences have operated under the assumption that Daenerys was the real heir. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Daenerys Targaryen Will Sit on the Iron Throne on Game of Thrones, and You Know It," 12 Apr. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of rightful

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

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Statistics for rightful

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for rightful

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

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More Definitions for rightful



English Language Learners Definition of rightful

: according to the law
: proper or appropriate


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rightful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rightful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rightful

Spanish Central: Translation of rightful

Nglish: Translation of rightful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rightful for Arabic Speakers

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