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Fairly and justly, according to one's due rights. Because you're the oldest nephew, you inherit the most of Uncle Ed's fortune by rights. By rights, you can't interrogate him without a lawyer present.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Justly, in fairness, as in By rights he should have been chosen first. Originally put as by right, this term was first recorded about 1315.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
By rights means according to what is fair, legal or allowed. He took the money that was mine by rights. By rights she should have had no access to the royal gardens at all.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
by ˈrightsaccording to what should happen or what you would expect: By rights I should feel sorry for shouting at her, but I don’t.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
In a just or proper manner; justly.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.