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[rahy-chuh s] /ˈraɪ tʃəs/
characterized by uprightness or morality:
a righteous observance of the law.
morally right or justifiable:
righteous indignation.
acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous:
a righteous and godly person.
Slang. absolutely genuine or wonderful:
some righteous playing by a jazz great.
the righteous, (used with a plural verb) righteous persons collectively.
Origin of righteous
before 900; earlier rightwos, rightwis (remodeled with -ous), Middle English; Old English rihtwīs. See right, wise2
Related forms
righteously, adverb
overrighteous, adjective
overrighteously, adverb
overrighteousness, noun
prerighteous, adjective
prerighteously, adverb
prerighteousness, noun
quasi-righteous, adjective
quasi-righteously, adverb
superrighteous, adjective
superrighteously, adverb
superrighteousness, noun
Can be confused
right, righteous, rightful (see usage note at right)
3. good, honest, fair, right.
3. evil, wicked. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for righteously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • righteously and honourably he would obtain them, if he might, or else forego them.

    Anabasis Xenophon
  • The streamlet should run through the land of them with whom we are righteously at war.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • How righteously they could be used we shall see in the case of Bernard.

  • If she wins, she will win squarely and righteously, and never have to blush.

  • And know that we be of the race of Saturn, who do righteously, not by constraint, but of our own will.

    Stories from Virgil Alfred J. Church
  • This is another noble occupation, if it is only carried on properly and righteously.

    Gospel Doctrine Joseph F. Smith
  • They would render to all their dues, while they would humbly but righteously claim their own.

    Fifty Notable Years John G. Adams
  • That makes me feel it so bitterly, so loftily, and so righteously.

    Erema R. D. Blackmore
British Dictionary definitions for righteously


  1. characterized by, proceeding from, or in accordance with accepted standards of morality, justice, or uprightness; virtuous: a righteous man
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the): the righteous
morally justifiable or right, esp from one's own point of view: righteous indignation
Derived Forms
righteously, adverb
righteousness, noun
Word Origin
Old English rīhtwīs, from right + wise²
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 righteously



early 16c. alteration of rightwise, from Old English rihtwis, from riht (see right) + wis "wise, way, manner" (see wise (adj.)). Suffix altered by influence of courteous, etc. Meaning "genuine, excellent" is 1942 in jazz slang. Related: Righteously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for righteously



Excellent; genuine; the GREATEST: what we used to call the righteous jazz/ ''Is that righteous gold?'' ''Righteous it ain't, but gold it is'' (1900+ Jazz musicians)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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