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, however, and especially when the adverb precedes the verb or qualifies an adjective, rightly is the more natural choice:

• One of them was rightly furious as the escaper had whipped…his overcoat —A. Miller, 1976

• These practices were rightly banned generations ago —weblog, BrE 2004.

Rightly is commonly used with so to express approval for something described by a preceding word or clause: She was angry, and rightly so. It is also the more idiomatic choice, in BrE at least, in the phrase if I remember rightly.
2. Right is also idiomatic in the meanings ‘directly, immediately’ or ‘completely’ in phrases such as right away and right now, and in uses such as I'll be right with you and Turn it right off.
3. In an older use now considered archaic in BrE (but still in use in regional AmE), right means ‘very, extremely’ without any notion of rightness in the judgemental sense:

• I was right glad…to see your writing again —Coleridge, 1800

• Miz Wilkes is right sensible, for a woman —Margaret Mitchell, 1936

• My husband reports from Iraq that he's right glad the Aussies aren't leaving —weblog, AmE 2004.

In BrE it remains in standard use only in certain titles and forms of address, such as Right Honourable and Right Reverend. But right has been used informally since the 1960s in BrE as an intensifying adjective in the sense ‘utter, complete’:

• You look a right clown —Iris Murdoch, 1978.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rightly — Right ly, adv. [AS. richtlice.] 1. Straightly; directly; in front. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. According to justice; according to the divine will or moral rectitude; uprightly; as, duty rightly performed. [1913 Webster] 3. Properly; fitly;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rightly — index fairly (impartially) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • rightly — ► ADVERB 1) in accordance with what is true or just. 2) with good reason …   English terms dictionary

  • rightly — [rīt′lē] adv. [see RIGHT & LY2] 1. with justice; fairly 2. properly; suitably; fitly 3. correctly …   English World dictionary

  • rightly — right|ly [ raıtli ] adverb ** 1. ) for a good reason: It was a vicious foul, and the referee rightly removed him from the game. quite rightly (=very rightly): Everyone is quite rightly concerned about what is going to happen now. and rightly so ( …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • rightly */*/ — UK [ˈraɪtlɪ] / US adverb 1) for a good reason It was a vicious foul, and the referee rightly sent him off. quite rightly (= very rightly): Everyone is quite rightly concerned about what is going to happen now. and rightly so (= very rightly): The …   English dictionary

  • rightly — right|ly [ˈraıtli] adv 1.) correctly, or for a good reason ≠ ↑wrongly ▪ I was, as you rightly said , the smallest boy in the class. ▪ As you so rightly pointed out , things are getting worse. ▪ They have been treated badly, and they are rightly… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • rightly — adverb 1 for a good or sensible reason: The audience was rightly outraged at this suggestion. | quite rightly BrE: She insisted, quite rightly, that we all put our seat belts on. 2 correctly: As she rightly pointed out, this will do nothing to… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • rightly — /ruyt lee/, adv. 1. in accordance with truth or fact; correctly: to see rightly; to understand rightly. 2. in accordance with morality or equity; uprightly. 3. properly, fitly, or suitably: to be rightly dressed. 4. Informal. with certainty;… …   Universalium

  • rightly — right•ly [[t]ˈraɪt li[/t]] adv. 1) in accordance with truth or fact; correctly: if I understand rightly[/ex] 2) in accordance with morality or equity 3) properly; suitably: rightly dressed[/ex] 4) Informal. with certainty; positively: I don t… …   From formal English to slang

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