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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rectify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My conduct must then have a faulty appearance at least, and I will endeavour to rectify it.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Mistakes are hard to rectify after a fatal volley has been fired.

  • He discovered the mistake when it was too late to rectify it.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare Alexander Scott Withers
  • However, he saw his mistake in an instant and tried to rectify it.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • Is there a confusion in the figure, he advances to rectify it with a chass rigadoon.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
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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