[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. righten,
  2. righteous,
  3. righteously,
  4. righteousness,
  5. righter,
  6. rightfully,
  7. righting reflex,
  8. rightish,
  9. rightism,
  10. rightist

Origin of rightful

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

Related forms
Can be confusedright 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 rightfully

British Dictionary definitions for rightfully


/ (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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper