Meaning of “right” in the English Dictionary

"right" in British English

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uk /raɪt/ us /raɪt/

right adjective (CORRECT)

A1 correct:

You got three answers right and two wrong.
I set the clock to the right time.
"Is that Ms Kramer?" "Yes, that's right."
Am I right in thinking (= is it true) that you will be at the conference?
You're right to be annoyed - you've been treated very badly.
You must put matters right (= make the situation better) by telling the truth.

A1 If you are right about something or someone, you are correct in your judgment or statement about it, him, or her:

You were right about Pete - he's a real troublemaker.

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right adjective (SUITABLE)

B1 suitable or correct, or as it should be:

He's the right person for the job.
I think you've made the right decision.
The temperature of the swimming pool was just right (= exactly as I wanted it).
That hat looks just right on you.
He thought the time was right to let his intentions be known.

used to refer to a person who is considered to be socially important or a place that such people go to:

She knows all the right people.
He likes to be seen in the right clubs and restaurants.
the right way round/up UK US the right way around/up

in the correct position:

The lid has to go on the right way round or it won't fit.
Keep the bottle the right way up.

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right adjective (MORALLY ACCEPTABLE)

B2 [ after verb ] considered fair or morally acceptable by most people:

I don't believe they should have put him in prison. It isn't right.
[ + to infinitive ] It's not right to criticize people behind their back.
[ + that ] It is only (= completely) right that men and women should be paid the same for doing the same work.

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right adjective (DIRECTION)

A2 on or towards the side of your body that is to the east when you are facing north:

Most people write with their right hand.
He likes to sleep on the right side of the bed.

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uk /raɪt/ us /raɪt/

right adverb (DIRECTION)

A2 on or towards the side of your body that is to the east when you are facing north:

Turn/Go right (= take the road on the right) at the first traffic lights.

right adverb (EXACTLY)

B1 exactly or all the way:

I've got a pimple right on the end of my nose.
They built a row of hotels right along the sea-front.

used for emphasis:

The car ran right (= completely) out of fuel.
She walked right (= all the way) past me without noticing me.
I'll be right back/I'll be right with you (= I will return very soon).
right away/now

B1 immediately:

You'd better leave right now.
right now

at the present time:

We're very busy right now.


uk /raɪt/ us /raɪt/

right noun (DIRECTION)

A2 [ S ] the right side:

English is written and read from left to right.
King's Avenue is the first right (= the first road on the right side).
In this photo, my wife is the woman standing on/to my right.
US I took/made (informal hung) a right (= turned into the next road on the right side) after crossing the bridge.

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right noun (POLITICS)

the right also the Right [ S, + sing/pl verb ]

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C2 political parties or people that have traditional opinions, and that believe in low taxes, property, and industry being privately owned, and less help for the poor:

The right was/were in power after 1979.
He's a man of the far (= extreme) right.


B2 [ U ] what is considered to be morally good or acceptable:

Your conscience should tell you the difference between right and wrong.
in the right

If you are in the right, what you are doing is morally or legally correct.

B2 [ C or U ] the fact that a person or animal can expect to be treated in a fair, morally acceptable, or legal way, or to have the things that are necessary for life:

She campaigned for women's rights during the 1960s.
Everyone has a right to education.
She has no more right to a company car than I have (= she does not deserve one more than I do).
[ + to infinitive ] You're not my boss, so what right (= authority) do you have to tell me what to do?
You have every right (= you have a good reason) to complain.
within your rights

If you are within your rights to do something, you are legally allowed to do it:

I think I'm quite within my rights to demand a full refund.
rights [ plural ]

legal controls over who is allowed to use a book or film:

He has acquired the film rights to the book (= he is allowed to make a film of the book).

new shares in a particular company that have become available for people to buy who already own shares:

The company made a rights issue of one new share for every four held.
put/set sth to rights

to improve or correct something:

The company needs over a million dollars to set its finances to rights.

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uk /raɪt/ us /raɪt/ informal

right exclamation (AGREEMENT)

A2 used to express agreement with someone or to show that you have understood what someone has said:

"Johnny, you climb up first." "Right."

A2 said when you want to make a group of people notice you, especially so that you can start an activity:

Right, everyone. Could you all stop talking, and then we'll begin.

said between parts of a story that you are telling, in order to make certain that people are paying attention and understanding:

So there I was right, middle of the night, right, and this guy came up to me...

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rightverb [ T ]

uk /raɪt/ us /raɪt/

(Definition of “right” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"right" in American English

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rightadjective, adverb

us /rɑɪt/

right adjective, adverb (CORRECT)

correct, true, or exact:

He said the trip would take two hours and he was absolutely/exactly right.
My watch has stopped – do you have the right time?
Ellen is the right person for the job.
She got every answer right.

right adjective, adverb (SUITABLE)

suitable or desirable, or as it should be:

[ + to infinitive ] He thought the time was right to expand his new business.
That hat looks just right on you.

right adjective, adverb (HEALTHY)

[ not gradable ] healthy, or working correctly:

I haven’t felt right all day.

right adjective, adverb (MORAL RULE)

[ not gradable ] considered fair or morally acceptable by most people:

It isn’t right to tell a lie.


us /rɑɪt/

right adjective (WISE)

having or showing good judgment; wise:

[ + to infinitive ] The president was right to veto that bill.
I think we reached the right conclusion.


us /rɑɪt/


social studies [ C ] your opportunity to act and to be treated in particular ways that the law promises to protect for the benefit of society:

civil/human rights
You have a right to a trial by jury.
[ + to infinitive ] Patients have a right to keep their medical records confidential.
The dispute is over fishing rights.

right noun (POLITICS)

rightadjective, adverb, noun [ C/U ]

us /rɑɪt/

right adjective, adverb, noun [ C/U ] (DIRECTION)

the side of the body opposite the side that contains the heart, or the direction that is the opposite of left:

Most people throw a ball with their right hand.
Our house is on the right.
[ C ] After you go over the bridge, make a right (= turn to the right).


us /rɑɪt/

right exclamation (AGREEMENT)

used to express agreement with someone or to show that you have understood what someone has said:

"Robert, be sure to pick up Susan on your way home." "Right."

rightadverb [ not gradable ]

us /rɑɪt/

right adverb [ not gradable ] (EXACTLY)

exactly; just:

I’m too busy to talk right now but I’ll get back to you later.
He sat right behind me.
I’ll be right back (= I will return very soon).

(Definition of “right” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"right" in Business English

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uk /raɪt/ us

[ C or U ] someone who has the right to something, or the right to do something, is allowed to have it or do it, often legally or officially:

have a right to sth Everybody has a right to equal treatment.
have the right to do sth Shareholders have the right to vote on the appointment of a new CEO.
She is a leading campaigner for consumer rights.
human/civil rights
rights [ plural ]

LAW if a person, company, or organization has the rights to something, they are legally allowed to buy, sell, broadcast, etc. that thing:

If the group loses the court case, it will lose its exclusive rights to broadcast live games.
distribution rights
film/TV/broadcasting rights
all rights reserved

LAW a phrase used to show that a particular person or particular people own the rights to a book, film, etc.

rights [ plural ]

STOCK MARKET new shares in a particular company that have become available for existing shareholders to buy:

The company made a rights issue of one new share for every four held.

(Definition of “right” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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