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[rek-ti-tood, -tyood] /ˈrɛk tɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
rightness of principle or conduct; moral virtue:
the rectitude of her motives.
rectitude of judgment.
Origin of rectitude
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French < Late Latin rēctitūdin- (stem of rēctitūdō) straightness, equivalent to Latin rēct(us) right + -tūdin- -tude
1. integrity, probity, principle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rectitude
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We cannot help remarking the danger of the least deviation from the path of rectitude.

  • Doubtless he spoke like this in order that his rectitude might not be called in question.

  • He feels that truth is the “summit of being,” and the soul of rectitude in human affairs.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • Through them all she was sustained by the consciousness of her rectitude.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • rectitude, courage and unflinching truth were Holcroft's ideal.

  • But honor and rectitude, clear-sightedness and trustfulness in life were fast returning.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for rectitude


moral or religious correctness
correctness of judgment
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin rectitūdō, from Latin rectus right, straight, from regere to rule
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 rectitude

early 15c., "quality of being straight," from Middle French rectitude (14c.), from Late Latin rectitudinem (nominative rectitudo) "straightness, uprightness," from Latin rectus "straight" (see right (adj.1)). Sense of "upright in conduct or character" is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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