Definition of rectify in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Put (something) right; correct.

    ‘mistakes made now cannot be rectified later’
    ‘efforts to rectify the situation’
    • ‘A spokeswoman for the city council said they were taking steps to rectifying the situation.’
    • ‘A concerted effort must be made to rectify the situation.’
    • ‘The matter was quickly rectified by fitting steel control rods, cutting away some parts of the wing skin and providing adequate gap sealing for the flaps.’
    • ‘After I post this article, I intend to rectify that situation.’
    • ‘Rather, he left a clear indication of the problem in the confident expectation that some later scholar would rectify matters.’
    • ‘Are you interested in rectifying the situation?’
    • ‘I am told that the folks there are well aware of the problems and they're already working to rectify matters when the films are repeated in a few months.’
    • ‘I trust that the editor will rectify this matter.’
    • ‘Do you believe that constitutional reform is needed to rectify the situation?’
    • ‘The GP was given a reprimand after her solicitor said she ‘accepted there was a lack of sympathetic handling’, but had made efforts to rectify her mistakes.’
    • ‘However, if the damp problem has been rectified by correct installation of the stainless-steel flue, there is no need to seal the wall.’
    • ‘That would rectify the situation pretty quickly.’
    • ‘One guy, Tom, saw a way to rectify this situation.’
    • ‘Mr Diamond has been in contact with numerous council representatives in an effort to rectify the situation, to no avail.’
    • ‘This is particularly important if you have not received a repeat prescription, so that we can rectify the matter.’
    • ‘The government resolved to rectify the situation.’
    • ‘And, in many cases, they're working to try to rectify that situation.’
    • ‘In no time they assisted me in rectifying the situation.’
    • ‘‘I felt like an outsider in my own organisation,’ he says, but has since rectified matters.’
    • ‘What chance have we got then of rectifying a situation?’
    correct, make right, put right, set right, right, put to rights, sort out, deal with, amend, revise, remedy, repair, fix, cure, heal, make good, reform, harmonize, retrieve, improve, better, ameliorate, adjust, resolve, settle, redress, square
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1usually as adjective rectified Purify or refine (a substance) by repeated distillation.
      ‘add 10 cc of rectified alcohol’
      • ‘This was rectified by adding more citric acid and if the pH went below 4.5 adding sodium hydroxide to bring the pH back up again.’
      • ‘The grapes produced by commercial viticulture are sold either as table grapes or drying grapes, or crushed and processed into wine or grape juice, grape concentrate, or rectified grape must.’
      • ‘If the basket is removed it may be used to manufacture or rectify alcohol.’
  • 2Convert (alternating current) to direct current.

    ‘rectified AC power systems’
    • ‘It works by moving a magnet through a coil of wire and produces a alternating current which must then be rectified by the use of diodes.’
    • ‘We are also investigating tunnel diodes, which rectify the IR-frequency current waves in the antenna arms.’
    • ‘Physicists have built a novel device that relies on electron spin to rectify current.’
    • ‘Similar to an electrical diode that rectifies an alternating voltage, it might rectify an alternating force to generate a net movement in one direction.’
    • ‘The signals were amplified, rectified, and integrated on a moving-time-average basis, with a time constant of 100 milliseconds.’
  • 3Find a straight line equal in length to (a curve).


Late Middle English: from Old French rectifier, from medieval Latin rectificare, from Latin rectus ‘right’.