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[rek-tuh-fahy] /ˈrɛk təˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), rectified, rectifying.
to make, put, or set right; remedy; correct:
He sent them a check to rectify his account.
to put right by adjustment or calculation, as an instrument or a course at sea.
Chemistry. to purify (especially a spirit or liquor) by repeated distillation.
Electricity. to change (an alternating current) into a direct current.
to determine the length of (a curve).
Astronomy, Geography. to adjust (a globe) for the solution of any proposed problem.
Origin of rectify
1350-1400; Middle English rectifien < Middle French rectifier < Medieval Latin rēctificāre, equivalent to Latin rēct(us) right + -ificāre -ify
Related forms
nonrectified, adjective
self-rectifying, adjective
unrectified, adjective
1. mend, emend, amend. 2. adjust, regulate, straighten.
1. worsen, muddle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for rectify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was too late to rectify the blunder that night, and a month elapsed ere we would revisit the spot.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • She saw her mistake, and with her unvarying sweetness, set out to rectify it.

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • To rectify the relation that exists between two men, is there no method, then, but that of ending it?

    Latter-Day Pamphlets Thomas Carlyle
  • You may think so also, but I will say this much: I will pay a large sum of money to rectify.

    Two Wonderful Detectives Harlan Page Halsey
  • To rectify this, in 1730 Carolina was allowed to send rice direct to countries south of Cape Finisterre.

    The Colonization of North America Herbert Eugene Bolton
British Dictionary definitions for rectify


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to put right; correct; remedy
to separate (a substance) from a mixture or refine (a substance) by fractional distillation
to convert (alternating current) into direct current
(maths) to determine the length of (a curve)
to cause (an object) to assume a linear motion or characteristic
Derived Forms
rectifiable, adjective
rectification, noun
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Medieval Latin rectificāre to adjust, from Latin rectus straight + facere to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rectify

c.1400, from Old French rectifier, literally "to make straight" (14c.), from Late Latin rectificare "make right," from Latin rectus "straight" (see right (adj.1)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Related: Rectified; rectifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rectify in Medicine

rectify rec·ti·fy (rěk'tə-fī')
v. rec·ti·fied, rec·ti·fy·ing, rec·ti·fies

  1. To set right; correct.

  2. To refine or purify, especially by distillation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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