Definition for RIGHT

RIGHT, a. [rite; Sax. riht, reht; D. regt; G. recht; Dan. rigtig; Sw. ricktig; It. retto; Sp. recto; L. rectus, from the root of rego, properly to strain or stretch, whence straight; Sax. recan. See Class Rg, No. 18, 46, 47. Properly, strained; stretched to straightness; hence,]

  1. Straight. A right line in geometry is the shortest line that can be drawn or imagined between two points. A right line may be horizontal, perpendicular, or inclined to the plane of the horizon.
  2. In morals and religion, just; equitable; accordant to the standard of truth and justice or the will of God. That alone is right in the sight of God, which is consonant to his will or law; this being the only perfect standard of truth and justice. In social and political affairs, that is right which is consonant to the laws and customs of a country, provided these laws and customs are not repugnant to the laws of God. A man's intentions may be right, though his actions may be wrong in consequence of a defect in judgment.
  3. Fit; suitable; proper; becoming. In things indifferent, or which are regulated by no positive law, that is right which is best suited to the character, occasion or purpose, or which is fitted to produce some good effect. It is right for a rich man to dress himself and his family in expensive clothing, which it would not be right for a poor man to purchase. It is right for every man to choose his own time for eating or exercise. Right is a relative term; what may be right for one end, may be wrong for another.
  4. Lawful; as, the right heir of an estate.
  5. True; not erroneous or wrong; according to fact. If there be no prospect beyond the grave, the inference is certainly right, “Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.” – Locke.
  6. Correct; passing a true judgment; not mistaken or wrong. You are right, justice, and you weigh this well. – Shak.
  7. Not left, but its opposite; most convenient or dextrous; as, the right hand, which is generally most strong or most convenient in use.
  8. Most favorable or convenient. The lady has been disappointed on the right side. – Spectator.
  9. Properly placed, disposed or adjusted; orderly; well regulated.
  10. Well performed, as an art or act.
  11. Most direct; as, the right way from London to Oxford.
  12. Being on the same side as the right hand; as, the right side.
  13. Being on the right hand of a person whose face is toward the mouth of a river; as, the right bank of the Hudson.

Return to page 139 of the letter “R”.