“A fifth I heard, if from a happy flight a shot flies into the host; however swiftly it flies, I will force it to stop if I can only catch it with my gaze.”
[correct, morally correct, direct] Old English riht, of actions, "just, good, fair, in conformity with moral law; proper, fitting, according to standard; rightful, legitimate, lawful; correct in belief, orthodox;" of persons or their characters, "disposed to do what is good or just;" also literal, "straight, not bent; direct, being the shortest course; erect," from Proto-Germanic *rehtan (source also of Old Frisian riucht "right," Old Saxon reht, Middle Dutch and Dutch recht, Old High German reht, German recht, Old Norse rettr, Gothic raihts), from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," also "to rule, to lead straight, to put right" (source also of Greek orektos "stretched out, upright;" Latin rectus "straight, right;" Old Persian rasta- "straight; right," aršta- "rectitude;" Old Irish recht "law;" Welsh rhaith, Breton reiz "just, righteous, wise"). Right (verb) Old English rihtan "to straighten (a path); rule, set up, set right, amend; guide, govern; restore, replace," from riht (adj.); see right (adj.1). Compare Old Norse retta "to straighten," Old Saxon rihtian, Old Frisian riuchta, German richten, Gothic garaihtjan. From late 14th-Century as "avenge or redress" (a wrong or injury). The meaning "bring (a ship) back to an upright position" is by 1745; the sense of "recover one's balance or footing" is by 1805. The meaning "restore (something) to proper position after a fall, etc." is by 1823. Related: Righted; righting. Right (n.) Old English riht (West Saxon, Kentish), reht (Anglian), "that which is morally right, duty, obligation," also "rule of conduct; law of a land;" also "what someone deserves; a just claim, what is due, equitable treatment;" also "correctness, truth;" also "a legal entitlement (to possession of property, etc.), a privilege," from Proto-Germanic *rehtan (see right (adj.1)). In Middle English often contrasted to right or wrong. From early 14th-Century as "a right action, a good deed," hence the right "that which is just or true, righteousness." Right (adv.) Old English rehte, rihte "in a straight or direct manner; in a right manner, justly; precisely, exactly" (as in right now); "according to rule; according to fact or truth, correctly," from right (adj.1). Compare Old Saxon rehto, Old Frisian riuchte, Middle Dutch richte, German recht, adverbs from the adjectives. Lithuanian teisus "right, true," literally "straight." Greek dikaios "just" (in the moral and legal sense) is from dike "custom." The sense in right whale (by 1733) is said to be "justly entitled to the name" (a sense that goes back to Old English); earliest sources for the term, in New England whaling publications, list it first among whales and compare the others to it. Of persons who are socially acceptable and potentially influential (the right people) by 1842; the sense of "correct method, what is most conducive to the end in vision" is by 1560s. The sense in one's right mind is of "mentally normal or sound" (1660s). Right (adj.2) "opposite of left," early 12th-Century, riht, from Old English riht, which did not have this sense but meant "good, proper, fitting, straight" (see right (adj.1)). It is a specialized development of the adjective that apparently began in late Old English on the notion of the right hand as normally the stronger of the two, or perhaps the "correct," hand. By c.1200 this was extended to that side of the body, then to its limbs, clothing, etc., and then transferred to other objects; from Old High German reht, which meant only "straight, just." Compare Latin rectus "straight; right," also from the same PIE root.
The political sense of "conservative" is recorded by 1794 (adj.), 1825 (n.), a translation of French Droit "the Right, Conservative Party" in the French National Assembly (1789; see left (adj.)). The meaning "the right hand or right side" (as opposed to the left) is from mid-13th-Century; see right (adj.2) for sense development. As "the right wing of an army" by 1707. Political use is from 1825. Meaning "a blow with the right fist" is from 1898. The phrase to rights "at once, straightway" is 1660s, from an earlier meaning "in a proper manner" (Middle English). To do or something in one's own right (1610s) is from the legal use for "title or claim to something possessed by one or more" (12th-Century).