right

{{11}}right (adj.1) "morally correct," O.E. riht "just, good, fair, proper, fitting, straight," from P.Gmc. *rekhtaz (Cf. O.H.G. reht, Ger. recht, O.N. rettr, Goth. raihts), from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," also "to rule, to lead straight, to put right" (see REGAL (Cf. regal); Cf. Gk. orektos "stretched out, upright;" L. rectus "straight, right;" O.Pers. rasta- "straight, right," arЕЎta- "rectitude;" O.Ir. recht "law;" Welsh rhaith, Breton reiz "just, righteous, wise").
Cf. slang straight "honest, morally upright," and L. rectus "right," lit. "straight," Lith. teisus "right, true," lit. "straight." Gk. dikaios "just" (in the moral and legal sense) is from dike "custom." The noun sense of "just claim" was in Old English and Proto-Germanic. As an emphatic, meaning "you are right," it is recorded from 1580s; use as a question meaning "am I not right?" is from 1961. The phrase to rights "at once, straightway" is 1660s, from sense "in a proper manner" (M.E.). The sense in right whale is "justly entitled to the name."
Phrase right off the bat is 1888, also hot from the bat (1888), probably a baseball metaphor, but cricket is possible as a source; there is an early citation from Australia (in an article about slang): "Well, it is a vice you'd better get rid of then. Refined conversation is a mark of culture. Let me hear that kid use slang again, and I'll give it to him right off the bat. I'll wipe up the floor with him. I'll ---" ["The Australian Journal," November 1888].
Right stuff "best human ingredients" is from 1848, popularized by Tom Wolfe's 1979 book about the first astronauts. Right on! as an exclamation of approval first recorded 1925 in black slang, popularized mid-1960s by Black Panther movement. Right of way is attested from 1768.
{{12}}right (adj.2) "opposite of left," early 12c., riht, from O.E. riht, which did not have this sense but meant "good, proper, fitting, straight" (see RIGHT (Cf. right) (adj.1)). The notion is of the right hand as the "correct" hand. The usual O.E. word for this was swiþra, lit. "stronger." "The history of words for 'right' and 'left' shows that they were used primarily with reference to the hands" [Buck]. Cf. similar sense evolution in Du. recht, Ger. recht "right (not left)," from O.H.G. reht, which meant only "straight, just." The usual PIE root (*dek-) is represented by L. dexter (see DEXTERITY (Cf. dexterity)). Other derivations on a similar pattern to English right are Fr. droit, from L. directus "straight;" Lith. labas, lit. "good;" and Slavic words (Boh. pravy, Pol. prawy, Rus. pravyj) from O.C.S. pravu, lit. "straight." The political sense of "conservative" is first recorded 1794 (adj.), 1825 (n.), a translation of Fr. Droit "the Right, Conservative Party" in the French National Assembly (1789; see LEFT (Cf. left)).
{{12}}right (v.) O.E. rihtan "to straighten, rule, set up," from riht (adj.); see RIGHT (Cf. right) (adj.1). Cf. O.N. retta "to straighten," Ger. richten, Goth. garaihtjan.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • 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 — 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,… …   Modern English usage

  • 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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