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verb (used with object), rec·ti·fied, rec·ti·fy·ing.
  1. to make, put, or set right; remedy; correct: He sent them a check to rectify his account.
  2. to put right by adjustment or calculation, as an instrument or a course at sea.
  3. Chemistry. to purify (especially a spirit or liquor) by repeated distillation.
  4. Electricity. to change (an alternating current) into a direct current.
  5. to determine the length of (a curve).
  6. Astronomy, Geography. to adjust (a globe) for the solution of any proposed problem.

Origin of rectify

1350–1400; Middle English rectifien < Middle French rectifier < Medieval Latin rēctificāre, equivalent to Latin rēct(us) right + -ificāre -ify
Related formsnon·rec·ti·fied, adjectiveself-rec·ti·fy·ing, adjectiveun·rec·ti·fied, adjective

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Antonyms for rectify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for rectify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to put right; correct; remedy
  2. to separate (a substance) from a mixture or refine (a substance) by fractional distillation
  3. to convert (alternating current) into direct current
  4. maths to determine the length of (a curve)
  5. to cause (an object) to assume a linear motion or characteristic
Derived Formsrectifiable, adjectiverectification, noun

Word Origin for rectify

C14: via Old French from Medieval Latin rectificāre to adjust, from Latin rectus straight + facere to make
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

Word Origin and History for rectify

c.1400, from Old French rectifier, literally "to make straight" (14c.), from Late Latin rectificare "make right," from Latin rectus "straight" (see right (adj.1)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Related: Rectified; rectifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rectify in Medicine


  1. To set right; correct.
  2. To refine or purify, especially by distillation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.