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

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 The only thing that can contain my excitement for Daenerys Targaryen, the rightful heir, to finally sit on her throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms—which is my very correct opinion of what should happen—is the fact that summer is arriving. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "These GoT-Inspired Pool Floats Will Make You Feel Like the Mother of Dragons," 20 Mar. 2019 Being a decent ally doesn't just mean dancing to Britney with a gaggle of gays on the weekend and arguing for Asia O'Hara as the rightful winner of this season of Drag Race. Nick Levine, GQ, "How to Be an Ally During Pride (and Beyond)," 19 June 2018 Just about a year ago, living legends Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced on the Oscars stage La La Land was the year's best picture (Moonlight, was, in fact, the rightful winner of that honor). Tess Koman, Cosmopolitan, "Uh, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway Are Presenting the Oscar for Best Picture Again This Year," 2 Mar. 2018 The practice helped prevent the rightful owners from discovering their addresses were being misappropriated. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "How 3ve’s BGP hijackers eluded the Internet—and made $29M," 21 Dec. 2018 Burrell said in Israel’s obituary that even though many of the original letters Israel had stolen were ultimately returned to their rightful places in libraries, some of her forgeries are probably still in circulation. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "5 fascinating stories about Lee Israel, the real person behind Can You Ever Forgive Me?," 19 Oct. 2018 Since Bogotá’s Chamber of Commerce launched the fair in 2005, the number of art galleries in Bogotá has tripled, cementing the city’s rightful place on the art world map. Michaela Trimble, Vogue, "Where to Go During ArtBo Bogotá, the Art Basel of Latin America," 18 Oct. 2018 Aquaman — aka Arthur Curry — is the son of a human lighthouse keeper and the Atlantean queen (Nicole Kidman), making him the rightful heir to the throne. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "New extended Aquaman trailer shows off over five minutes of underwater action," 5 Oct. 2018

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

28 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for rightful

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

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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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a tendency to relapse

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