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Word of the Day
Monday, January 16, 2017

Definitions for rectitude

  1. rightness of principle or conduct; moral virtue: the rectitude of her motives.
  2. correctness: rectitude of judgment.
  3. straightness.

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Citations for rectitude
Nonviolence, as a strategy, hinges on faith: It is faith in the ultimate moral rectitude and the perfectibility of systems of power. Charles M. Blow, "Violence in Baltimore," New York Times, April 29, 2015
His case was peculiarly worthy of sympathy, since, no doubt, if rectitude and purity of disposition could give a title to happiness, few men could exhibit a more consistent and powerful claim than Mr Falkland. William Godwin, Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, 1794
Origin of rectitude
late Middle English
Rectitude comes from Middle French rectitude, from the Late Latin and Christian Latin noun rēctitūdō (stem rectitudin-) “straightness, uprightness, honesty, upright posture, correct spelling….” Rēctitūdō derives from the Latin adjective rēctus, the past participle of regere “to keep straight, direct, rule,” a Latin reflex (an element in a language, as a sound, that has developed from a corresponding element in an earlier form of the language) of the widespread Proto-Indo-European root reg- “to direct or move in a straight line, rule.” The root appears in anorexia (from Greek); rajah, rani (from Sanskrit); rich (from Old English and Old French); and Reich (a Celtic word that entered Germanic). The word entered English in the 15th century.