in accordance with truth or fact; correctly: to see rightly; to understand rightly.
in accordance with morality or equity; uprightly.
properly, fitly, or suitably: to be rightly dressed.
Informal. with certainty; positively: I can't rightly say.

Origin of rightly

before 900; Middle English; Old English rihtlīce. See right, -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rightly

Contemporary Examples of rightly

Historical Examples of rightly

  • But he was a man and his own master—if you can rightly call a man his own master that does them things.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I don't want to trouble him, but I was bound he shouldn't keep from me what was rightly my due.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • No suspicion or fear can be rightly directed toward our country.

  • My wife had rightly told me, Sir, that you were a very clever and honest man.

  • Now Wiseli first rightly understood these words, and felt their full meaning.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

British Dictionary definitions for rightly



in accordance with the facts; correctly
in accordance with principles of justice or morality
with good reason; justifiablyhe was rightly annoyed with her
properly or suitably; appropriatelyrightly dressed for a wedding
(used with a negative) informal with certainty; positively or precisely (usually in the phrases I don't rightly know, I can't rightly say)
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 rightly

Old English rihtlice "justly, virtuously; properly, regularly, correctly;" see right (adj.1) + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper