If you think that someone behaves or lives in a way that is morally good, you can say that they are righteous. People sometimes use righteous to express their disapproval when they think someone is only behaving in this way so that others will admire or support them. [FORMAL]

Aren't you afraid of being seen as a righteous crusader?...

He was full of righteous indignation.

...petty dictators and righteous politicians.

Derived words:
righteousness N-UNCOUNT

Both sides in the dispute have been adopting a tone of moral righteousness.

righteously ADV-GRADED

They righteously maintain that they do not practise rationing.

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Righteous — Right eous, a. [OE. rightways, rightwise, AS. rightw[=i]s; riht right + w[=i]s wise, having wisdom, prudent. See {Right}, a., {Wise}, a.] Doing, or according with, that which is right; yielding to all their due; just; equitable; especially, free… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • righteous — [rī′chəs] adj. [altered, by analogy with adjs. in EOUS < ME rihtwis < OE: see RIGHT & WISE] 1. acting in a just, upright manner; doing what is right; virtuous [a righteous man] 2. morally right; fair and just [a righteous act] 3 …   English World dictionary

  • righteous — index clean, conscientious, equitable, ethical, high minded, just, law abiding, meritorious, moral …   Law dictionary

  • righteous — (adj.) early 16c. alteration of rightwise, from O.E. rihtwis, from riht (see RIGHT (Cf. right)) + wis wise, way, manner. Suffix altered by influence of courteous, etc. Meaning genuine, excellent is c.1900 in jazz slang. Related: Righteousness …   Etymology dictionary

  • righteous — virtuous, noble, *moral, ethical Analogous words: *upright, honest, just, honorable Antonyms: iniquitous Contrasted words: *vicious, nefarious, flagitious, corrupt: profligate, dissolute, reprobate, *abandoned …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • righteous — [adj] good, honest angelic, blameless, charitable, commendable, conscientious, creditable, deserving, devoted, devout, dutiful, equitable, ethical, exemplary, fair, faithful, godlike, guiltless, holy, honorable, impartial, innocent,… …   New thesaurus

  • righteous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ morally right or justifiable. DERIVATIVES righteously adverb righteousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • righteous — righteously, adv. /ruy cheuhs/, adj. 1. characterized by uprightness or morality: a righteous observance of the law. 2. morally right or justifiable: righteous indignation. 3. acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous: a righteous and godly… …   Universalium

  • righteous — /ˈraɪtʃəs / (say ruychuhs) adjective 1. characterised by uprightness or morality: a righteous act. 2. morally right or justifiable: righteous indignation. 3. in accordance with right; upright or virtuous: a righteous and godly man. –phrase 4. the …  

  • righteous — right|eous [ˈraıtʃəs] adj [: Old English; Origin: rihtwis, from riht right (noun) + wis wise ] 1.) righteous indignation/anger etc strong feelings of anger when you think a situation is not morally right or fair ▪ He was full of righteous… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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