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by rights

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Justly, in fairness, as in By rights he should have been chosen first. Originally put as by right, this term was first recorded about 1315.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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