• synonyms


[rahyt-fuh l]
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  1. having a valid or just claim, as to some property or position; legitimate: the rightful owner of the farm.
  2. belonging or held by a valid or just claim: one's rightful property.
  3. equitable or just, as actions or a cause.
  4. proper; appropriate; fitting.
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Origin of rightful

before 1150; Middle English; late Old English rihtful; see right (noun), -ful
Related formsright·ful·ly, adverbright·ful·ness, nounun·right·ful, adjectiveun·right·ful·ly, adverbun·right·ful·ness, noun
Can be confusedright righteous rightful (see usage note at right)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rightfully

justly, legally, legitimately, deservedly, truly, duly, fairly, honestly, properly, befittingly, equitably, fittingly, impartially

Examples from the Web for rightfully

Contemporary Examples of rightfully

Historical Examples of rightfully

British Dictionary definitions for rightfully


  1. in accordance with what is right; proper or just
  2. (prenominal) having a legally or morally just claimthe rightful owner
  3. (prenominal) held by virtue of a legal or just claimmy rightful property
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Derived Formsrightfully, 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

Word Origin and History for rightfully



Old English rihtful; see right (adj.1) + -ful. Related: Rightfully; rightfulness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper