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[rahyt-fuh l] /ˈraɪt fəl/
having a valid or just claim, as to some property or position; legitimate:
the rightful owner of the farm.
belonging or held by a valid or just claim:
one's rightful property.
equitable or just, as actions or a cause.
proper; appropriate; fitting.
Origin of rightful
late Old English
before 1150; Middle English; late Old English rihtful; see right (noun), -ful
Related forms
rightfully, adverb
rightfulness, noun
unrightful, adjective
unrightfully, adverb
unrightfulness, noun
Can be confused
right, righteous, rightful (see usage note at right) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for rightfully
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the task he could rightfully use it for was not yet done.

    The Defiant Agents Andre Alice Norton
  • But you never can expect through the union to get all that rightfully belongs to you.

  • These terms are the only possible or reasonable relations that could rightfully exist between fallen humanity and its Creator.

    Satan Lewis Sperry Chafer
  • If you do not, others will reap the benefits that rightfully belong to you.

  • In its subordinate position, where it rightfully belongs, it grows beautiful and harmonious.

    The Arena Various
British Dictionary definitions for rightfully


in accordance with what is right; proper or just
(prenominal) having a legally or morally just claim: the rightful owner
(prenominal) held by virtue of a legal or just claim: my rightful property
Derived Forms
rightfully, adverb
rightfulness, noun
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 rightfully



Old English rihtful; see right (adj.1) + -ful. Related: Rightfully; rightfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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