adjective, right·er, right·est.
- the privilege, usually preemptive, that accrues to the owners of the stock of a corporation to subscribe to additional shares of stock or securities convertible into stock at an advantageous price.
- Often rights. the privilege of subscribing to a specified amount of a stock or bond issue, or the document certifying this privilege.
- the complex of individuals or organized groups opposing change in a liberal direction and usually advocating maintenance of the established social, political, or economic order.
- the position held by these people: The Depression led to a movement away from the Right.Compare left1(defs 6a, b).
- right wing.
verb (used with object), right·ed, right·ing.
verb (used without object), right·ed, right·ing.
- (used as an expression of emphatic agreement.)
- okay: “Can we meet tonight?” “Too right.”
Origin of right
British Dictionary definitions for by rights
- formed by or containing a line or plane perpendicular to another line or plane
- having the axis perpendicular to the basea right circular cone
- straighta right line
- in favour withyou'd better stay on the right side of him
- younger thanshe's still on the right side of fifty
- a punch with the right hand
- the right hand
- (often plural) the privilege of a company's shareholders to subscribe for new issues of the company's shares on advantageous terms
- the negotiable certificate signifying this privilege
verb (mainly tr)
- indicating that a statement has been understood
- asking whether a statement has been understood
- indicating a subdividing point within a discourse
Word Origin for right
Word Origin and History for by rights (1 of 5)
"morally correct," Old English riht "just, good, fair; proper, fitting; straight, not bent, direct, erect," from Proto-Germanic *rekhtaz (cf. Old Frisian riucht "right," Old Saxon reht, Middle Dutch and Dutch recht, Old High German reht, German recht, Old Norse rettr, Gothic raihts), from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," also "to rule, to lead straight, to put right" (see regal; cf. Greek orektos "stretched out, upright;" Latin rectus "straight, right;" Old Persian rasta- "straight, right," aršta- "rectitude;" Old Irish recht "law;" Welsh rhaith, Breton reiz "just, righteous, wise").
Cf. slang straight (adj.1) "honest, morally upright," and Latin rectus "right," literally "straight," Lithuanian teisus "right, true," literally "straight." Greek dikaios "just" (in the moral and legal sense) is from dike "custom." As an emphatic, meaning "you are right," it is recorded from 1580s; use as a question meaning "am I not right?" is from 1961. The sense in right whale is "justly entitled to the name." Right stuff "best human ingredients" is from 1848, popularized by Tom Wolfe's 1979 book about the first astronauts. Right of way is attested from 1767. Right angle is from late 14c.
Word Origin and History for by rights (1 of 5)
"opposite of left," early 12c., riht, from Old English riht, which did not have this sense but meant "good, proper, fitting, straight" (see right (adj.1)). The notion is of the right hand as the "correct" hand. The usual Old English word for this was swiþra, literally "stronger." "The history of words for 'right' and 'left' shows that they were used primarily with reference to the hands" [Buck]. Cf. similar sense evolution in Dutch recht, German recht "right (not left)," from Old High German reht, which meant only "straight, just."
The usual PIE root (*dek-) is represented by Latin dexter (see dexterity). Other derivations on a similar pattern to English right are French droit, from Latin directus "straight;" Lithuanian labas, literally "good;" and Slavic words (Bohemian pravy, Polish prawy, Russian pravyj) from Old Church Slavonic pravu, literally "straight," from PIE *pro-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).
The political sense of "conservative" is first recorded 1794 (adj.), 1825 (n.), a translation of French Droit "the Right, Conservative Party" in the French National Assembly (1789; see left (adj.)).
Word Origin and History for by rights (2 of 5)
Old English rihtan "to straighten, rule, set up, set right, amend; guide, govern; restore, replace," from riht (adj.); see right (adj.1). Cf. Old Norse retta "to straighten," Old Saxon rihtian, Old Frisian riuchta, German richten, Gothic garaihtjan. Related: Righted; righting.
Word Origin and History for by rights (3 of 5)
Old English riht (West Saxon, Kentish), reht (Anglian), "that which is morally right, duty, obligation," also "rule of conduct; law of a land;" also "what someone deserves; a just claim, what is due; correctness, truth; a legal entitlement, a privilege," from the root of right (adj.1). Meaning "the right" (as opposed to the left) is from mid-13c.; political use from 1825. From early 14c. as "a right action, a good deed." Meaning "a blow with the right fist" is from 1898. The phrase to rights "at once, straightway" is 1660s, from sense "in a proper manner" (Middle English).
Word Origin and History for by rights (4 of 5)
Old English rehte, rihte "in a straight or direct manner," from right (adj.1). Right on! as an exclamation of approval first recorded 1925 in black slang, popularized mid-1960s by Black Panther movement.
Idioms and Phrases with by rights (1 of 2)
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.
Idioms and Phrases with by rights (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with right
- right and left
- right as rain
- right away
- right in the head
- right off
- right off the bat
- right of way
- right on
- right out
- right side of the tracks
- right side, on someone's
- right tack
- right up one's alley
- all right
- all right for you
- all right with one
- by rights
- come (right) out with
- dead to rights
- get right
- give one's eyeteeth (right arm)
- go right
- go (right) through one
- hang a left (right)
- have a right to
- have a screw loose (one's head screwed on right)
- heart in the right place
- hit (right) between the eyes
- in one's own right
- in one's right mind
- in the right
- left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing
- might makes right
- not right in the head
- (right) on the money
- on the right foot
- on the right tack
- play one's cards right
- price is right
- put right
- sail (right) through
- serve one right
- set right
- set to rights
- step in the right direction
- strike the right note
- that's right
- turn out all right
- two wrongs do not make a right
- when it comes (right down) to