Difference Between Rite and Right

Main Difference – Rite vs Right

Rite and Right are homophones – they sound alike, but have different meanings and spellings. Rite is an act that is part of a religious ceremony. Right can have different meanings: morally correct, privilege, accurate, true, precise, etc. are some of its meanings. Therefore, the main difference between rite and right lies in their meaning.

Rite – Meaning and Usage

Rite is a religious ceremony or act. Rites are rituals or customs that are observed in different ethnic groups or religions. This noun is mostly used in a religious or cultural context; therefore, rite has a very restricted meaning, unlike right.

He published a paper on pagan fertility rites.

The rite of Baptism is divided into four parts.

The rites and customs of the old days have long disappeared.

Young adults’ novels often depict adolescents and their rites of passage that lead to adulthood.

The phrase ‘rite of passage’ refers to a ceremony or event that marks an important stage in someone’s life.

Difference Between Rite and Right

Rite of Passage –  Initiation ritual of boys in Malawi. The ritual marks the passage from childhood to adulthood.

Right – Meaning and Usage

Right is a word that has multi-functions and multiple meanings. Right can be used as a noun, adjective, adverb and verb. Right can refer to the opposite of wrong, opposite of left, a legal entitlement, etc. Given below are some of the most basic meanings of the word.

Morally correct, good, acceptable

I hope I’m doing the right thing.

You were right to punish him.

Why can’t you understand the difference between right and wrong?

A moral or legal entitlement to have or do something

Every child has a right to education.

He fought for the rights of underprivileged children.

You have every right to be angry with me.

Main Difference - Rite vs Right

True or correct

You were right about me.

This is not the right way to deal with children.

He didn’t know the right answer, but he made a lucky guess.

Right-hand side (the opposite of left)

Turn right at the junction.

I was seated on her right side.

My right arm feels numb.

Satisfactory, in a normal condition

These eggs don’t smell right.

This doesn’t look right; something’s wrong.

Correctly or exactly (adverb)

You have guessed right.

I was standing right behind you.

Difference Between Rite and Right

Grammatical Category

Rite is a noun.

Right can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, and adverb.


Rite is a religious ceremony or act.

Right can mean

Morally correct or acceptable

Opposite of left

Legal entitlement etc.


Rite is mostly used in a cultural or religious setting.

Right is more commonly used in various contexts.Difference Between Rite and Right - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Initiation ritual of boys in Malawi” By Steve Evans from Citizen of the World – Malawi (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia 

Right to work campaign badge c.1976.jpg – Personal collection(Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 

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