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 While authors such as Lee and Ahdieh are putting characters of Asian descent in their rightful place in historical fiction, DeWoskin’s latest novel tells a World War II story many people might not know. NBC News, "Novels set from the South to Shanghai detail unexpected dimensions of Asian American history," 19 Nov. 2019 And there’s no better illustration of God’s faithfulness than Jesus, who God promised to us from the fall of man to redeem us from the slavery of sin — and through His death and resurrection — to restore our rightful place as children of God. The Rev. Bill Thomas, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Thomas: Be encouraged and persevere with the knowledge that God is faithful," 18 Oct. 2019 First, to restore women to their rightful place in the art historical canon. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Judy Chicago Never Wanted to Have It All," 25 Sep. 2019 Now, after a series of seriously nautical photos, fans have once again begun advocating for Lizzo’s rightful role as Disney’s most glamorous villain. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Fans Once Again Call for Lizzo to Portray Ursula in "The Little Mermaid"," 15 June 2019 The wali al-amr, or rightful leader, Mr Madkhali insists, is wali al-aqwa, the strongest one. The Economist, "The battle for Tripoli could be decided by the Madkhalis," 14 Nov. 2019 Lawmakers from the majority party likened the move to a coup and voted to suspend him from office, appointing his one-time vice president as the nation’s rightful leader instead. ___ WHY DID VIZCARRA DISSOLVE CONGRESS? San Diego Union-Tribune, "AP Explains: Peru’s chaotic power struggle in a nutshell," 1 Oct. 2019 Recognized by the United States and more than 50 other countries as Venezuela’s rightful leader, Guaidó began coordinating with the U.S., Brazil, and Columbia to provide humanitarian aid for the country’s impoverished citizens. Michael Canyon Meyer, Outside Online, "The Murder of Venezuela's Visionary Adventure Guide," 24 June 2019 To create a rightful space where Black stylists, models, photographers, designers and more can be recognized for their trendsetting work. Nandi Howard, Essence, "These Are The Winners Of The Best In Black Fashion Awards," 5 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for rightful

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

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rightful.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rightful?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=rightf01. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for rightful


How to pronounce rightful (audio)

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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Comments on rightful

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


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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