From earlier rightuous, rightwose, rightwos, rightwise, from Middle English rightwise, rightwis, from Old English rihtwīs (“righteous, just, right, justifiable”), corresponding to right + -wise (with assimilation of second element to -ous), or to right + wise (“way, manner”). Cognate with Scots richtwis (“righteous”), Old High German rehtwīsic (“righteous, just”), Icelandic réttvíss (“righteous, just”). Compare also thefteous, mighteous.
- Free from sin or guilt.
- Moral and virtuous, to the point of sanctimonious.
- Human beings should take a righteous path, and so should art. We should promote kindness and beauty through art.
- Justified morally.
- righteous indignation
- (slang, US) Awesome; great.
- 1986, John Hughes, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, spoken by Grace Wheelberg (Edie McClurg):
- The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.
- 1995, Norman L. Russell, Doug Grad, Suicide Charlie: A Vietnam War Story (page 191)
- He sold me a bulging paper sack full of Cambodian Red for two dolla' MPC. A strange experience, copping from a kid, but it was righteous weed.
- 2008, Stephen King, Graduation Afternoon:
- Tonight the kids will go out and party down in a more righteous mode. Alcohol and not a few tabs of X will be ingested. Club music will throb through big speakers.