[ rahyt-fuh l ]
/ ˈraɪt fəl /


having a valid or just claim, as to some property or position; legitimate: the rightful owner of the farm.
belonging or held by a valid or just claim: one's rightful property.
equitable or just, as actions or a cause.
proper; appropriate; fitting.

Origin of rightful

before 1150; Middle English; late Old English rihtful; see right (noun), -ful

Related forms

Can be confused

right righteous rightful (see usage note at right)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rightful

British Dictionary definitions for rightful


/ (ˈraɪtfʊl) /


in accordance with what is right; proper or just
(prenominal) having a legally or morally just claimthe rightful owner
(prenominal) held by virtue of a legal or just claimmy rightful property

Derived Forms

rightfully, adverbrightfulness, noun
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