[ rek-ti-tood, -tyood ]
/ ˈrɛk tɪˌtud, -ˌtyud /


rightness of principle or conduct; moral virtue: the rectitude of her motives.
correctness: rectitude of judgment.

Nearby words

  1. rectifier,
  2. rectify,
  3. rectilinear,
  4. rectirostral,
  5. rectitis,
  6. rectitudinous,
  7. recto,
  8. recto-,
  9. rectocele,
  10. rectococcygeal muscle

Origin of rectitude

1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French < Late Latin rēctitūdin- (stem of rēctitūdō) straightness, equivalent to Latin rēct(us) right + -tūdin- -tude Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rectitude

British Dictionary definitions for rectitude


/ (ˈrɛktɪˌtjuːd) /


moral or religious correctness
correctness of judgment

Word Origin for rectitude

C15: from Late Latin rectitūdō, from Latin rectus right, straight, from regere to rule

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 rectitude



early 15c., "quality of being straight," from Middle French rectitude (14c.), from Late Latin rectitudinem (nominative rectitudo) "straightness, uprightness," from Latin rectus "straight" (see right (adj.1)). Sense of "upright in conduct or character" is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper