Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to correctness: political correctness, Political correctness gone mad


v. cor·rect·ed, cor·rect·ing, cor·rects
a. To make or put right: correct a mistake; correct a misunderstanding.
b. To remove the errors or mistakes from: corrected her previous testimony.
c. To indicate or mark the errors in: correct an exam.
a. To speak to or communicate with (someone) in order to point out a mistake or error.
b. To scold or punish so as to improve or reform.
3. To remedy or counteract (a defect, for example): The new glasses corrected his blurry vision.
4. To adjust so as to meet a required standard or condition: correct the wheel alignment on a car.
1. To make corrections.
2. To make adjustments; compensate: correcting for the effects of air resistance.
1. Free from error or fault; true or accurate.
2. Conforming to standards; proper: correct behavior.

[Middle English correcten, from Latin corrigere, corrēct- : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + regere, to rule; see reg- in Indo-European roots.]

cor·rect′a·ble, cor·rect′i·ble adj.
cor·rect′ly adv.
cor·rect′ness n.
cor·rec′tor n.
Synonyms: correct, rectify, remedy, redress, revise, amend
These verbs mean to make right what is wrong. Correct refers to eliminating faults, errors, or defects: I corrected the spelling mistakes. The new design corrected the flaws in the earlier version.
Rectify stresses the idea of bringing something into conformity with a standard of what is right: "It is dishonest to claim that we can rectify racial injustice without immediate cost" (Mari J. Matsuda).
Remedy involves removing or counteracting something considered a cause of harm, damage, or discontent: He took courses to remedy his abysmal ignorance.
Redress refers to setting right something considered immoral or unethical and usually involves some kind of recompense: "They said he had done very little to redress the abuses that the army had committed against the civilian population" (Daniel Wilkinson).
Revise suggests change that results from careful reconsideration: The agency revised its safety recommendations in view of the new findings.
Amend implies improvement through alteration or correction: "Whenever [the people] shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it" (Abraham Lincoln).




  1. Accurate as a hole in one —Anon

    See Also: GOLF

  2. Accurately as a geometrician —V. S. Pritchett
  3. As scrupulous as a well-trained tailor —Robert Penn Warren
  4. Exact as a blueprint —Anon
  5. Exact as the technical jargon of a trade —Aldous Huxley
  6. More exacting than a pasha with thirty wives —Guy de Maupassant
  7. Proper as a butler —Charles Simmons
  8. Respectable as Jane Austen —Marge Piercy
  9. Right as a well-done sum —Sylvia Plath




get hold of the right end of the stick To have the proper grasp or perspective on a situation. The expression is more common in Britain than in the United States. See also get hold of the wrong end of the Stick, FALLACIOUSNESS.

hit the white To be right, to be right on target, to hit the bull’s-eye. The allusion is to archery and the inner circle of the target or the bull’s-eye, formerly of a white color. Since bull’s-eyes are now usually painted or outlined in black, it is easy to see why this expression is rare or obsolete today.

’Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white. (Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, V, ii)

on the beam On the right track; correct; accurate. The reference is to a radio beam used to direct the course of an aircraft. Thus, an airplane on the beam is right on the proper course. The phrase appeared as early as 1941 in the Daring Detective.

right as a trivet See GOOD HEALTH.

right as rain Very right, exactly correct or accurate, quite right. This simile, although not as common today as formerly, is still popularly used to emphasize degree of correctness. Its origin would appear to be simply from alliteration.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.correctness - conformity to fact or truth
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
incorrectness, wrongness - the quality of not conforming to fact or truth
2.correctness - the quality of conformity to social expectations
correctitude, properness, propriety - correct or appropriate behavior
faultlessness, impeccability - the quality of being without an error or fault
political correctitude, political correctness - avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against
incorrectness - lack of conformity to social expectations


1. truth, accuracy, precision, exactitude, exactness, faultlessness Please check the correctness of the details on this form.
2. decorum, propriety, good manners, civility, good breeding, bon ton (French) He conducted himself with formal correctness at all times.


2. Correspondence with fact or truth:
3. Conformity to recognized standards, as of conduct or appearance:


[kəˈrektnɪs] N
1. (= accuracy) [of answer, amount, term, calculation] → exactitud f
2. (= appropriateness) [of method, approach] → lo apropiado, lo adecuado
3. (= decency) [of person, behaviour, dress] → corrección f


[kəˈrɛktnɪs] n
(= accuracy) → justesse f, exactitude f
(= formality) [behaviour] → correction f


(= accuracy)Richtigkeit f
(of behaviour etc)Korrektheit f


[kəˈrɛktnɪs] ncorrettezza


(kəˈrekt) verb
1. to remove faults and errors from. These spectacles will correct his eye defect.
2. (of a teacher etc) to mark errors in. I have fourteen exercise books to correct.
1. free from faults or errors. This sum is correct.
2. right; not wrong. Did I get the correct idea from what you said?; You are quite correct.
corˈrection (-ʃən) noun
corˈrective (-tiv) adjective
setting right. corrective treatment.
corˈrectly adverb
corˈrectness noun
References in classic literature ?
Cicero, when he buried his darling and only daughter, had a heart as full of honest grief as poor Tom's,--perhaps no fuller, for both were only men;--but Cicero could pause over no such sublime words of hope, and look to no such future reunion; and if he had seen them, ten to one he would not have believed,--he must fill his head first with a thousand questions of authenticity of manuscript, and correctness of translation.
He conjectured that these were remains of the victims of the catastrophe of 1820, and a minute inquest, immediately instituted by the local authorities, soon demonstrated the correctness of his supposition.
He proclaimed one or two past events, Luigi confirmed his correctness, and the search went on.
The opinion was also whispered that my master was my father; but of the correctness of this opinion, I know nothing; the means of knowing was withheld from me.
But the correctness of his eye, and the delicacy of his taste, proved to be beyond his politeness.
Fortunately I had had the advantage of being taught French by a French lady; and as I had always made a point of conversing with Madame Pierrot as often as I could, and had besides, during the last seven years, learnt a portion of French by heart daily--applying myself to take pains with my accent, and imitating as closely as possible the pronunciation of my teacher, I had acquired a certain degree of readiness and correctness in the language, and was not likely to be much at a loss with Mademoiselle Adela.
Magdalen was no judge of the admirable correctness with which the accounts inside were all kept; but she could estimate the neatness of the handwriting, the regularity in the rows of figures, the mathematical exactness of the ruled lines in red and black ink, the cleanly absence of blots, stains, or erasures.
But, he had been so careful to get it accurately, that he then spelt it with perfect correctness.
Add to this, that the standard of correctness is not the same in poetry and politics, any more than in poetry and any other art.
All the details of his coming into and going out of the palace--on the night when he introduced himself in the character of an Italian fortune teller--you will tell him, that he may not doubt the correctness of my information; that he had under his cloak a large white robe dotted with black tears, death's heads, and crossbones--for in case of a surprise, he was to pass for the phantom of the White Lady who, as all the world knows, appears at the Louvre every time any great event is impending.
From this present view point he was enabled to look upon them in spectator fashion and to criticise them with some correctness, for his new condition had already defeated certain sym- pathies.
I have been listening attentively to your narrative of my adventures," replied the chair; "and it must be owned that your correctness entitles you to be held up as a pattern to biographers.