\ˈrīt \

Definition of right 

(Entry 1 of 4)

2 : being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper right conduct

3 : conforming to facts or truth : correct the right answer

4 : suitable, appropriate the right man for the job

5 : straight a right line

6 : genuine, real

7a : of, relating to, situated on, or being the side of the body which is away from the side on which the heart is mostly located

b : located nearer to the right hand than to the left

c : located to the right of an observer facing the object specified or directed as the right arm would point when raised out to the side

d(1) : located on the right of an observer facing in the same direction as the object specified stage right

(2) : located on the right when facing downstream the right bank of a river

e : done with the right hand a right hook to the jaw

8 : having the axis perpendicular to the base right cone

9 : of, relating to, or constituting the principal or more prominent side of an object made sure the socks were right side out

10 : acting or judging in accordance with truth or fact time proved her right

11a : being in good physical or mental health or order not in his right mind

b : being in a correct or proper state put things right

12 : most favorable or desired : preferable also : socially acceptable knew all the right people

13 often capitalized : of, adhering to, or constituted by the Right especially in politics



Definition of right (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : qualities (such as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval

2 : something to which one has a just claim: such as

a : the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled voting rights his right to decide

b(1) : the interest that one has in a piece of property often used in plural mineral rights

(2) rights plural : the property interest possessed under law or custom and agreement in an intangible thing especially of a literary and artistic nature film rights of the novel

3 : something that one may properly claim as due knowing the truth is her right

4 : the cause of truth or justice

5a : right hand sense 1a also : a blow struck with this hand gave him a hard right on the jaw

b : the location or direction of the right side woods on his right

c : the part on the right side

d : right field

e : a turn to the right take a right at the stop sign

6a : the true account or correct interpretation

b : the quality or state of being factually correct

7 often capitalized

a : the part of a legislative chamber located to the right of the presiding officer

b : the members of a continental European legislative body occupying the right as a result of holding more conservative political views than other members

8a often capitalized : individuals professing support of the established order and favoring traditional attitudes and practices and conservative governmental policies

b often capitalized : a conservative position

9a : a privilege given stockholders to subscribe pro rata to a new issue of securities generally below market price

b : the negotiable certificate evidencing such privilege usually used in plural

by rights or less commonly by all rights

: with reason or justice : properly

in one's own right

: by virtue of one's own qualifications or properties

of right

1 : as an absolute right

2 : legally or morally exactable

to rights

: into proper order



Definition of right (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : according to right live right

2 : in the exact location, position, or moment : precisely right at his fingertips quit right then and there

3 : in a suitable, proper, or desired manner knew he wasn't doing it right

4 : in a direct line, course, or manner : directly, straight go right home came right out and said it

5 : according to fact or truth : truly guessed right

6a : all the way windows right to the floor

b : in a complete manner felt right at home

7 : without delay : immediately right after lunch

8 : to a great degree : very a right pleasant day

9 : on or to the right looked left and right


righted; righting; rights

Definition of right (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to do justice to : redress the injuries of so just is God to right the innocent— William Shakespeare

b : justify, vindicate felt the need to right himself in court

2 : avenge vows to right the injustice done to his family

3a : to adjust or restore to the proper state or condition right the economy

b : to bring or restore to an upright position right a capsized boat

intransitive verb

: to become upright

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from right


rightness noun


rightmost \ˈrīt-ˌmōst \ adjective


righter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for right


correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error. correct answers socially correct dress accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care. an accurate description exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth. exact measurements precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation. precise calibration nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination. makes nice distinctions right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault. the right thing to do

Examples of right in a Sentence


You can't treat me like this! It's not right! You were right to tell the teacher about the girl who you saw cheating. Telling the teacher was the right thing to do. “Is that clock right? Is it noon already?” “Yes. That's right.” There's something not quite right about his story. Their theory was proved right. Let me get this right—you want me to lend you $1,000?! You're right; the answer is six. I bet you like baseball. Am I right? Am I right in thinking that he should have never loaned her the money?


We discussed the rights and wrongs of genetic cloning. women fighting for equal rights Knowing the truth is her right.


The keys are right where I said they would be. “Where are my keys?” “They're right here.” The bank is right next to the pharmacy. The parking lot is right in front of the building. He left his bags right in the middle of the floor. She was waiting right outside the door. The ball hit me right in the face. We arrived right at noon. You are right on time. When the boss yelled at him, he quit right then and there.


It was time to right an old wrong. No one can right all the wrongs in the world. The government needs to do something to right the economy. They righted the capsized boat. He quickly righted himself after he fell off the chair.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

An Oklahoman who grew up among family members who taught him how to handle guns, Whittle vigorously defends the right to bear arms. Frances Stead Sellers, Washington Post, "Two Oklahoma citizens killed an active shooter, and it's not as simple as it sounds," 13 July 2018 The accord, which came into full effect only a few months ago, will expire in three years unless the two presidents exercise their right to extend it until 2026. The Economist, "What Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin ought to talk about in Helsinki," 12 July 2018 So with the scene set, let’s get right to your questions in this latest edition of the Sentinel’s Magic Mailbag. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Magic Mailbag: What’s the deal with Orlando’s point guard situation?," 12 July 2018 Cruz’s profile as a stalwart of the right mobilizes conservative donors as well. Kevin Diaz And Alejandra Matos, San Antonio Express-News, "O’Rourke vs. Cruz draws millions in contributions from outside of Texas," 11 July 2018 Of course, those returns are supposed to compensate the risks investors take, right? Lucaswpcom, Fortune, "Live Fast, Die Young: Many Startups Powered by Initial Coin Offerings Don't Last, But There's Still Money to Be Made," 10 July 2018 Debris and mudslides had stopped right outside the couple’s apartment door. Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "Many out of power, water in flood-hit Japan; over 150 dead," 10 July 2018 Burlington has right of first refusal, and Stewart notified Shafer after receiving two offers for it. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Burlington Says It Wants New Britain Watershed Land For Conservation, Not Housing," 10 July 2018 Cam Hardy, 28, an avid bus rider and president and co-founder of the Better Bus Coalition talks about what’s wrong and right with the Metro. Hannah Sparling, Cincinnati.com, "Is this guy a public-transit superhero? Or is he just a pain in the butt?," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Clinton, in her 2012 remarks, also cited Mr. Gallagher’s determination to serve, using him to represent the whole pre-gay-rights era. Neil Genzlinger, BostonGlobe.com, "Tom Gallagher, diplomat who became a gay activist, dies at 77," 13 July 2018 For starters, the film reportedly frames the reproductive-rights movement as an elaborate racist conspiracy theory. Anna Silman, The Cut, "The Pro-Life ‘Roe v. Wade’ Movie Sounds Like a Total Disaster," 13 July 2018 Twitter has gone to great lengths to appease the right, and any purge, however justified, would result in waves of negative coverage from Fox News and the Drudge Report. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Twitter Good Now?," 13 July 2018 Virsajko lobbed in a better cross from the right, and Perisic ran around both Trippier and Walker to stab it home with his left foot. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 On the right, Mike Dunleavy and Mead Treadwell—Republicans who will face off during next month’s primary election—have ardently supported more drilling while at times questioning human’s role in global warming. Kelsey Brugger, Scientific American, "Alaska Wants to Fight Warming While Still Drilling for Oil," 12 July 2018 Other times, Emily leans in on personal connection, penning heartfelt essays on family separation, gun rights, or elections. Sarah Weinberg, House Beautiful, "It's Always Happy Hour At Emily Henderson's," 12 July 2018 The right to choose and access to healthcare are on the line. Essence.com, "Black Women Come Out In Droves To Protest Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh," 12 July 2018 Russian troll farms created fake social media accounts and websites to try to sow dissent among Americans on divisive issues such as race, gay rights, gun control, and religion. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "Russia so far not mounting 'robust' hacking effort against U.S. election, official says," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The last two pitchers to shut out the Marlins each won Cy Youngs: Arrieta and Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "A Closer Look: Philadelphia Phillies 2, Miami Marlins 0," 14 July 2018 The Marlins came right back with a pair of runs in the second against Jhoulys Chacín, who surrendered a double, two singles and a walk. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 8, Marlins 4: Christian Yelich torments his former team," 10 July 2018 Sermanni said right back Ali Krieger – who was rested on Wednesday – should be fit and available. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride have sense of urgency going into match against Utah Royals," 13 July 2018 Manchester United and West Ham will fight it out to sign Sporting CP right back Cristiano Piccini, according to reports. SI.com, "Man Utd & West Ham Reportedly Locked in Battle for Sporting CP Full Back Cristiano Piccini," 13 July 2018 Less than a week after suffering through his toughest race of the season — an uncharacteristic 12th-place finish at Iowa Speedway — Scott Dixon climbed right back atop the Verizon IndyCar Series mountain. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Scott Dixon climbs back atop IndyCar mountain as Hondas dominate Day 1 in Toronto," 13 July 2018 Both went to an understaffed rehabilitation facility after leaving the hospital, and both bounced right back to the hospital — five times altogether — because of complications. Judith Graham, Washington Post, "A Hospital’s Human Touch: Why Taking Care In Discharging A Patient Matters," 12 July 2018 The Mariners recalled right-hander Nick Rumbelow from Class AAA Tacoma to take his spot on the roster. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners place Felix Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list," 10 July 2018 The Marlins recalled right-hander Merandy Gonzalez, their No. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Marlins prospect acquired in Yelich trade thriving since scary moment at the plate," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The first female head of the judiciary, Sereno, 57, had publicly questioned the legality of Duterte’s war on drugs, which rights groups say has killed thousands of people. New York Times, BostonGlobe.com, "Philippine court removes chief justice, a critic of Rodrigo Duterte," 11 May 2018 With a fresh start, Zverev righted things and rolled 6-1, 6-2 to wrap up the match. Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Lakers could contend sooner than you think; much work remains for Padres," 6 July 2018 But the play gradually rights itself, and the complexity of the students and their situation comes into focus: in Act I, their fight to get through the school doors; in Act II, what happens inside. New York Times, "Review: 9 Brave Students and the Shame of ‘Little Rock’," 2 July 2018 Chicago has righted the ship somewhat defensively after a porous start, but its 25 goals allowed are still second-most in the Eastern Conference. Dan Mcloone, BostonGlobe.com, "Revolution look to rebound at Chicago," 8 June 2018 With this in mind, Brexit is simply a matter of righting a historic wrong. The Economist, "Meet Dominic Raab: the new Brexit boss," 9 July 2018 To do so would be a small step toward righting the representational balance of a festival that has only awarded the Palme to one female director, Jane Campion. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "The wonderful, improbable Palme d'Or triumph of Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' at Cannes," 21 May 2018 So the rest of us must contribute to righting the institutional wrongs of this country. Andre Perry, The Root, "A Case for Educational Reparations for Formerly Incarcerated People," 6 Apr. 2018 Fortunately, all of you are committed to righting the wrongs. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Larry Nassar abuse: Lawmakers want to make sure it never happens again," 25 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of right


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


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


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


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

History and Etymology for right


Middle English, from Old English riht; akin to Old High German reht right, Latin rectus straight, right, regere to lead straight, direct, rule, rogare to ask, Greek oregein to stretch out


Middle English, from Old English riht, from riht, adjective


Old English riht, from riht righteous

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about right

Statistics for right

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for right

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for right



English Language Learners Definition of right

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: morally or socially correct or acceptable

: agreeing with the facts or truth : accurate or correct

: speaking, acting, or judging in a way that agrees with the facts or truth



English Language Learners Definition of right (Entry 2 of 4)

: behavior that is morally good or correct

: something that a person is or should be morally or legally allowed to have, get, or do

rights : the legal authority to reproduce, publish, broadcast, or sell something



English Language Learners Definition of right (Entry 3 of 4)

: in the exact location, position, or moment that is mentioned

: in a direct course or manner

: in a way that agrees with the facts or truth



English Language Learners Definition of right (Entry 4 of 4)

: to make (something) right : to correct (something wrong or unjust)

: to return (something) to a proper state or condition

: to put (something or someone) back in an upright position


\ˈrīt \

Kids Definition of right

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : following or in accordance with what is just, good, or proper It's not right to lie.

2 : accurate, correct That's the right answer.

3 : suitable, appropriate He's the right person for the job.

4 : located on the side of the body away from the heart the right arm

5 : located nearer to the right side of the body than to the left the chair's right arm

6 : being or meant to be the side on top, in front, or on the outside The box landed right side up. Turn the socks right side out.

7 : in a normal or healthy state or condition I don't feel right today. That milk doesn't smell right.

8 : straight entry 1 sense 1 a right line

Other Words from right

rightly adverb
rightness noun



Kids Definition of right (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : the ideal of what is just, good, or proper He hasn't learned right from wrong.

2 : something to which a person has a just claim the right to vote He has a right to be angry.

3 : the cause of truth or justice They fought for right.

4 : the right side : a part or location that is on or toward the right side My house is on the right.



Kids Definition of right (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : according to what is just, good, or proper She lives right.

2 : in the exact location, position, or moment : precisely It's right where you left it.

3 : in a direct line or course : straight Come right home.

4 : according to truth or fact You guessed right.

5 : in a suitable, proper, or desired way You're not doing it right.

6 : all the way We stayed right to the end of the game.

7 : without delay : immediately Let's go right after lunch.

8 : on or to the right turn right

9 : in a complete way He felt right at home here.

right away

: without delay : immediately The movie started playing right away.— R.J. Palacio, Wonder


righted; righting

Kids Definition of right (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : to make better or more just If only we could right the world's wrongs.

2 : to adjust or restore to a proper state or condition

3 : to bring or bring back to an upright position I righted the books.

4 : to become upright The ship slowly righted again.


\ˈrīt \

Medical Definition of right 

: of, relating to, or being the side of the body which is away from the heart and on which the hand is stronger in most people her right foot also : located nearer to this side than to the left

Other Words from right

right adverb

Keep scrolling for more



Legal Definition of right 

1a : qualities (as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval

b : something that is morally just able to distinguish right from wrong

2 : something to which one has a just claim: as

a : a power, privilege, or condition of existence to which one has a natural claim of enjoyment or possession the right of liberty that all men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rightsDeclaration of Independence — see also natural right

b : a power, privilege, immunity, or capacity the enjoyment of which is secured to a person by law one's constitutional rights

c : a legally enforceable claim against another that the other will do or will not do a given act the defendant may be under a legal duty…to exercise reasonable care for the plaintiff's safety, so that the plaintiff has a corresponding legal right to insist on that care— W. L. Prosser and W. P. Keeton

d : the interest that one has in property : a claim or title to property often used in pl. leasing mineral rights — see also real right

e  plural : the interest in property possessed (as under copyright law) in an intangible thing and especially an item of intellectual property obtained publishing rights

3 : a privilege given stockholders to subscribe pro rata to a new issue of securities generally below market price

of right

1 : as an absolute right

2 : demandable or enforceable under the law an appeal of right

Other Words from right

rightful \-fəl \ adjective
rightfully \-fə-lē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on right

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!