Dictionary.com

right-on

[ rahyt-on, -awn ]
/ ˈraɪtˈɒn, -ˈɔn /
Save This Word!

adjective Slang.
exactly right or to the point.
up-to-date; relevant: a right-on movie that shows conditions as they really are.
QUIZ
SPRINT TO THE FINISH WITH THIS OLYMPICS QUIZ!
Compete in our Olympics quiz to see if you can take home the gold medal in Olympics knowledge.
Question 1 of 10
Where was the Olympics first held?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of right-on

An Americanism dating back to 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does right-on mean?

Right-on is a slang term that describes something as being correct or exactly right, as in Sharane’s prediction that the stock price would increase was right-on. 

Right-on can also describe something as relevant or current, as in The right-on movie showed war as it is fought today. 

Right-on is also commonly used as an interjection to show enthusiastic support or agreement. It is almost always written as right on in this sense, as in Right on! Keep fighting for your rights, people! 

Example: The fortune teller’s warnings were right-on, with everything happening as he said it would. 

Where does right-on come from?

The first records of right-on come from around 1965. It is an Americanism of unknown origins. The excited exclamation usage comes from around 1911. Some believe it comes from Black slang, while others think it might come from military usage, such as right on target or right on cue.

You can use right-on to describe something that is exactly right. You can use the phrases on the money and on the nose to mean the same thing.

Did you know … ?

What are some synonyms for right-on?

What are some words that share a root or word element with right-on

What are some words that often get used in discussing right-on?

How is right on used in real life?

Right-on is used to say that something was exactly right.

Try using right-on!

Is right-on used correctly in the following sentence?

My dad was right-on when he said not to trust that suspicious salesman because he turned out to be a crook.

How to use right-on in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for right-on

right on

interjection
slang, mainly US and Canadian an exclamation of full agreement, concurrence, or compliance with the wishes, words, or actions of another
adjective right-on
informal modern, trendy, and socially aware or relevantright-on green politics
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with right-on

right on

An exclamation of enthusiasm or encouragement, as in You've said it really well—right on! This interjection has a disputed origin. Some believe it comes from African-American slang (it was recorded in Odum and Johnson's The Negro and His Songs, 1925); others feel it is a shortening of right on target, used by military airmen, or right on cue, theatrical slang for saying the right lines at the right time. [Slang; first half of 1900s] Also see way to go.

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