right


right
right, rightly
1. Right is used as an adverb meaning ‘in the right way, in a proper manner’ with a number of verbs, notably do right, go right (as in Nothing went right), guess right, spell something right, treat someone right. In general, however, and especially when the adverb precedes the verb or qualifies an adjective, rightly is the more natural choice:

• One of them was rightly furious as the escaper had whipped…his overcoat —A. Miller, 1976

• These practices were rightly banned generations ago —weblog, BrE 2004.

Rightly is commonly used with so to express approval for something described by a preceding word or clause: She was angry, and rightly so. It is also the more idiomatic choice, in BrE at least, in the phrase if I remember rightly.
2. Right is also idiomatic in the meanings ‘directly, immediately’ or ‘completely’ in phrases such as right away and right now, and in uses such as I'll be right with you and Turn it right off.
3. In an older use now considered archaic in BrE (but still in use in regional AmE), right means ‘very, extremely’ without any notion of rightness in the judgemental sense:

• I was right glad…to see your writing again —Coleridge, 1800

• Miz Wilkes is right sensible, for a woman —Margaret Mitchell, 1936

• My husband reports from Iraq that he's right glad the Aussies aren't leaving —weblog, AmE 2004.

In BrE it remains in standard use only in certain titles and forms of address, such as Right Honourable and Right Reverend. But right has been used informally since the 1960s in BrE as an intensifying adjective in the sense ‘utter, complete’:

• You look a right clown —Iris Murdoch, 1978.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • right — / rīt/ n [Old English riht, from riht righteous] 1 a: qualities (as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval b: something that is morally just able to… …   Law dictionary

  • Right — • Substantive designating the object of justice Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Right     Right     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Right — (r[imac]t), a. [OE. right, riht, AS. riht; akin to D. regt, OS. & OHG. reht, G. recht, Dan. ret, Sw. r[ a]tt, Icel. r[ e]ttr, Goth. ra[ i]hts, L. rectus, p. p. of regere to guide, rule; cf. Skr. [.r]ju straight, right. [root]115. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • right — [rīt] adj. [ME < OE riht, straight, direct, right, akin to Ger recht < IE base * reĝ , straight, stretch out, put in order > RICH, RECKON, L regere, to rule, rex, king, regula, a rule] 1. Obs. not curved; straight: now only in… …   English World dictionary

  • Right — Right, adv. 1. In a right manner. [1913 Webster] 2. In a right or straight line; directly; hence; straightway; immediately; next; as, he stood right before me; it went right to the mark; he came right out; he followed right after the guide. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Right — Right, n. [AS. right. See {Right}, a.] 1. That which is right or correct. Specifically: (a) The straight course; adherence to duty; obedience to lawful authority, divine or human; freedom from guilt, the opposite of moral wrong. (b) A true… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • right — [adj1] fair, just appropriate, condign, conscientious, deserved, due, equitable, ethical, fitting, good, honest, honorable, justifiable, lawful, legal, legitimate, merited, moral, proper, requisite, righteous, rightful, scrupulous, standup*,… …   New thesaurus

  • right — ► ADJECTIVE 1) on, towards, or relating to the side of a human body or of a thing which is to the east when the person or thing is facing north. 2) morally good, justified, or acceptable. 3) factually correct. 4) most appropriate: the right man… …   English terms dictionary

  • right — adj 1 *good Antonyms: wrong 2 *correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice Analogous words: fitting, proper, meet (see FIT): *decorous, decent, seemly Antonyms: wrong …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Right — Right, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Righted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Righting}.] [AS. rihtan. See {Right}, a.] 1. To bring or restore to the proper or natural position; to set upright; to make right or straight (that which has been wrong or crooked); to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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