Definition of righteous in English:



  • 1(of a person or conduct) morally right or justifiable; virtuous.

    ‘he is a good, righteous man, I am sure’
    ‘feelings of righteous indignation about pay and conditions’
    • ‘Most of us, Dr. Godfrey said, don't even think of ourselves as righteous.’
    • ‘Now picture the reaction of those Pharisees who regarded themselves as holy, righteous, and pure but who looked down on any who didn't live up to their standards of holiness.’
    • ‘I hope by now, you are inured to the fact that righteous indignation generates more email than gratitude.’
    • ‘Did you know that righteous fury and blind hate are simply two sides of the same coin?’
    • ‘I strove harder to stay awake in church and be more righteous.’
    • ‘Today's text focuses on justification and our being made righteous before God.’
    • ‘Why are you all of a sudden so righteous about taking one little smoke?’
    • ‘Both offer the spectacle of an aggrieved man reacting with righteous rage.’
    • ‘Abraham and Sarah trusted the same God, and they were declared righteous.’
    • ‘Please take it as read that I am the last person to think that mere numbers make a cause righteous.’
    • ‘His righteous indignation is quite understandable.’
    • ‘Where is there true reward and punishment in a world where so many innocent and righteous suffer while so many evil people seem to enjoy the good life?’
    • ‘Your hatred of the poor is just bigotry, sir, however you try to dress it as righteous indignation.’
    • ‘Your opponent comes out, quivering with righteous indignation, spoiling for a fight.’
    • ‘Even though we're all flawed, we expect public figures to be morally righteous.’
    • ‘But an opposition leader capable of righteous anger is essential for any democratic legislature.’
    • ‘I've shared tears and anger, thoughtfulness and righteous indignation.’
    • ‘He did not state that obedience to the law makes one fully righteous before God in an eschatological sense.’
    • ‘Over the decades, his choice of roles has defined the perception we have of him as a decent, even righteous man of honour.’
    • ‘Dualism is a tool of oppressors, fundamentalists and the morally righteous.’
    justifiable, justified, legitimate, defensible, supportable, just, rightful
    good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent, worthy
    View synonyms
  • 2US informal Very good; excellent.

    ‘righteous bread pudding’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But if you're renting this, you're looking for righteous trash, and Tomcat Angels serves it up something fierce.’


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.