Nearby words

  1. rigel kentaurus,
  2. rigger,
  3. rigging,
  4. rigging loft,
  5. riggs' disease,
  6. right about,
  7. right about face,
  8. right and left,
  9. right angle,
  10. right as rain


Origin of right

before 900; (noun and adj.) Middle English; Old English reht, riht; cognate with Dutch, German recht, Old Norse rēttr, Gothic raihts; akin to Latin rēctus, Old Irish recht law, Greek orektós upright; (v.) Middle English righten, Old English rihtan, cognate with Old Frisian riuchta, German richten, Old Norse rētta; (adv.) Middle English; Old English rihte

1–5, 10, 21. wrong.

Related formsright·a·ble, adjectivehalf-right, adjective, nounun·right·a·ble, adjectiveun·right·ed, adjective

Can be confusedright righteous rightfulright rite wright write

Usage note

47. Right in the sense of “very, extremely” is either archaic or dialectal. It is most common in informal speech and writing: It's right cold this morning. The editor knew right well where the story had originated. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for right and left



in accordance with accepted standards of moral or legal behaviour, justice, etcright conduct
in accordance with fact, reason, or truth; correct or truethe right answer
appropriate, suitable, fitting, or properthe right man for the job
most favourable or convenient; preferredthe right time to act
in a satisfactory condition; orderlythings are right again now
indicating or designating the correct timethe clock is right
correct in opinion or judgment
sound in mind or body; healthy or sane
(usually prenominal) of, designating, or located near the side of something or someone that faces east when the front is turned towards the northRelated adjective: dextral
(usually prenominal) worn on a right hand, foot, etc
(sometimes capital) of, designating, supporting, belonging to, or relating to the political or intellectual right (see sense 39)
(sometimes capital) conservative or reactionarythe right wing of the party
  1. formed by or containing a line or plane perpendicular to another line or plane
  2. having the axis perpendicular to the basea right circular cone
  3. straighta right line
relating to or designating the side of cloth worn or facing outwards
informal (intensifier)a right idiot
in one's right mind sane
she'll be right Australian and NZ informal that's all right; not to worry
the right side of
  1. in favour withyou'd better stay on the right side of him
  2. younger thanshe's still on the right side of fifty


too right Australian and NZ informal an exclamation of agreement
in accordance with correctness or truth; accuratelyto guess right
in the appropriate manner; properlydo it right next time!
in a straight line; directlyright to the top
in the direction of the east from the point of view of a person or thing facing north
absolutely or completely; utterlyhe went right through the floor
all the waythe bus goes right to the city centre
without delay; immediately or promptlyI'll be right over
exactly or preciselyright here
in a manner consistent with a legal or moral code; justly or righteouslydo right by me
in accordance with propriety; fittingly or suitablyit serves you right
to good or favourable advantage; wellit all came out right in the end
(esp in religious titles) most or veryright reverend
informal, or dialect (intensifier)I'm right glad to see you
right, left, and centre on all sides; from every direction
right off the bat informal as the first in a series; to begin with


any claim, title, etc, that is morally just or legally granted as allowable or due to a personI know my rights
anything that accords with the principles of legal or moral justice
the fact or state of being in accordance with reason, truth, or accepted standards (esp in the phrase in the right)
Irish an obligation or dutyyou had a right to lock the door
the right side, direction, position, area, or partthe right of the army; look to the right
the right (often capital) the supporters or advocates of social, political, or economic conservatism or reaction, based generally on a belief that things are better left unchanged (opposed to radical or left)
  1. a punch with the right hand
  2. the right hand
  1. (often plural)the privilege of a company's shareholders to subscribe for new issues of the company's shares on advantageous terms
  2. the negotiable certificate signifying this privilege
by right or by rights properly; justlyby rights you should be in bed
in one's own right having a claim or title oneself rather than through marriage or other connectiona peeress in her own right
to rights consistent with justice, correctness, or orderly arrangementhe put the matter to rights

verb (mainly tr)

(also intr) to restore to or attain a normal, esp an upright, positionthe raft righted in a few seconds
to make (something) accord with truth or facts; correct
to restore to an orderly state or condition; put right
to make reparation for; compensate for or redress (esp in the phrase right a wrong)

sentence substitute

  1. indicating that a statement has been understood
  2. asking whether a statement has been understood
  3. indicating a subdividing point within a discourse


an expression of agreement or compliance
Derived Formsrighter, noun

Word Origin for right

Old English riht, reoht; related to Old High German reht, Gothic raihts, Latin rēctus

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 right and left
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with right and left

right and left

In or from all directions, on every side, as in Questions were coming right and left, or She was giving orders right and left. This idiom, first recorded in 1839, uses the directions right and left to signify all sides.


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

also see:

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