General English


  • noun a legal entitlement to something


  • noun the fact of being legally entitled to do or to have something


  • noun something that a person is legally or morally allowed to have or do
  • noun people who are political conservatives or whose ideas and beliefs are conservative


  • adjective good or correct

Origin & History of “right”

Right goes back ultimately to the Indo-European base *reg- ‘move in a straight line’, hence ‘direct’, hence ‘rule’, which also produced English rich and Latin rēx ‘king’ (source of English regal, royal, etc). Combination with the past participial suffix *-to- resulted in Latin rēctus ‘straight, right’, which lies behind English rectify, rectum, etc, and prehistoric Germanic *rekhtaz, which has evolved into German and Dutch recht, Swedish rätt, Danish ret, and English right. The use of the word as the opposite of left, paralleled in German and Dutch but not in the Scandinavian languages, derives from the notion that the right hand is the ‘correct’ hand to use. (French droit ‘right’ goes back to Latin dīrēctus, a derivative of rēctus.) The derived righteous (OE) etymologically means ‘in the right way’; it was compounded in the Old English period from riht ‘right’ and wīs ‘way’ (ancestor of the modern English suffix -wise).