Definition of righteous in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɪtʃəs/


1Morally right or justifiable: feelings of righteous indignation about pay and conditions
More example sentences
  • His righteous indignation is quite understandable.
  • Your opponent comes out, quivering with righteous indignation, spoiling for a fight.
  • I've shared tears and anger, thoughtfulness and righteous indignation.
good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent, worthy;
ethical, principled, moral, high-minded, law-abiding, just, honest, innocent, faultless, honourable, blameless, guiltless, irreproachable, sinless, uncorrupted, anti-corruption, saintly, angelic, pure, noble, noble-minded, pious, God-fearing
justifiable, justified, legitimate, defensible, supportable, just, rightful;
well founded, sound, valid, admissible, allowable, understandable, excusable, acceptable, reasonable, sensible
1.1(Of a person) morally good; virtuous: he stood up for what he knew was right and died a righteous person (as plural noun the righteous) victory in battle was conferred on the righteous
2US informal Very good; excellent: righteous eggs, man!
More example sentences
  • The self-proclaimed righteous babe is back with her 17th full-length album, and she certainly hasn't run out of ideas.
  • When she plays at folk fest, the most righteous of babes will be playing solo once again.
  • Evolution may be the personal mission of Ani 2003, but in a broader sense it's more of the same from Buffalo's righteous babe, and that's no slight.
2.1Correctly so called; genuine: he is righteous trash
More example sentences
  • But if you're renting this, you're looking for righteous trash, and Tomcat Angels serves it up something fierce.
  • In the same book, the authors state that in order for external pathogenic qi to invade the tissue, correct or righteous qi must be weak, as is often the case in elderly or weakened patients.



Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɪtʃəsli/
Example sentences
  • This supposed solution to terrorism presumes that ‘good guy’ governments given unchecked power will righteously deploy it to shut down ‘bad guy’ armed groups.
  • New Zealanders get righteously upset when foreigners talk about the likes of Tana Umaga and Jonah Lomu as ‘islanders’ when both were born in New Zealand, albeit to parents from Samoa and Tonga respectively.
  • Then again, it was Bhatt who first taught Indian environmentalists that it was not enough to righteously protest at destruction of one kind or another: they must also set about the process of reconstruction.


Old English rihtwīs, from riht 'right' + wīs 'manner, state, condition'. The change in the ending in the 16th century was due to association with words such as bounteous.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: right|eous

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.