Definition of rightful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɪtfʊl/


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.
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, well deserved, merited, earned, well earned;
due, just, right, fair, proper, fitting, appropriate, apt, suitable, reasonable



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

Line breaks: right|ful

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