Definition of rightful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrītfəl/


1Having a legitimate right to property, position, or status: the rightful owner of the jewels
More example sentences
  • The hoard of silver was found inside the box and Mr Manning established that he was the rightful heir to the property.
  • He then thought he would do the responsible thing by trying to return the property to its rightful owner.
  • Property belongs to the rightful owner, to lawfully use as he or she sees fit.
legal, lawful, real, true, proper, correct, recognized, genuine, authentic, acknowledged, approved, licensed, valid, bona fide, de jure
informal legit, kosher
1.1Legitimately claimed; fitting: they are determined to take their rightful place in a new South Africa
More example sentences
  • In essence, Sligo would claim its rightful place as capital of the North West.
  • Taken together, this restores patients to their rightful place as the experts in their own health and genuine partners in care.
  • On St. Patrick's Day, in Croke Park, the club had its rightful place in the sun.
deserved, merited, due, just, right, fair, proper, fitting, appropriate, suitable



Example sentences
  • A democracy can't exist if one political side continually denies the ability and the rightfulness of the other side to take charge of affairs.
  • In other words, we are going to get into the circumstances of the rightfulness or wrongfulness of the gentleman's removal from this country in the first place.
  • The whole relationship must not only demonstrate, to his mind, its necessity, but its absolute rightfulness.


Old English rihtful 'upright, righteous' (see right, -ful). The notion of 'legitimacy' dates from Middle English.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: right·ful

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