1. adhering to moral principles
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Righteousness \Right"eous*ness\, n. [AS. rihtw[imac]snes.]
1. The quality or state of being righteous; holiness; purity;
Note: Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in
which it chiefly occurs, is nearly equivalent to
holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections
of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law.
2. A righteous act, or righteous quality.
All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. --Isa.
3. The act or conduct of one who is righteous.
Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that
doeth righteousness at all times. --Ps. cvi. 3.
4. (Theol.) The state of being right with God; justification;
the work of Christ, which is the ground of justification.
There are two kinds of Christian righteousness: the
one without us, which we have by imputation; the
other in us, which consisteth of faith, hope, and
charity, and other Christian virtues. --Hooker.
Only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us,
and received by faith alone. --Westminster
Syn: Uprightness; holiness; godliness; equity; justice;
rightfulness; integrity; honesty; faithfulness.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: adhering to moral principles [ant: unrighteousness]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
89 Moby Thesaurus words for "righteousness":
Christianity, Christlikeness, Christliness, angelicalness,
appropriateness, assured probity, beauty of holiness,
blamelessness, character, cleanness, correctitude, correctness,
decencies, decency, decorousness, decorum, erectness,
estimableness, fairness, fear of God, fitness, fittingness,
godlikeness, godliness, godly-mindedness, good character, goodness,
heavenliness, heavenly-mindedness, high ideals, high principles,
high-mindedness, holiness, holy-mindedness, honesty, honor,
honorableness, immaculacy, integrity, irreproachability,
irreproachableness, justice, justness, moral excellence,
moral rectitude, moral strength, morale, morality, niceness,
nobility, normality, normativeness, odor of sanctity,
otherworldliness, principles, probity, properness, proprieties,
propriety, pureness, pureness of heart, purity, rectitude,
reputability, respectability, right conduct, rightness, sainthood,
saintlikeness, saintliness, saintship, sanctitude, sanctity,
seemliness, seraphicalness, spiritual-mindedness, spirituality,
stainlessness, suitability, unearthliness, unimpeachability,
unimpeachableness, unspottedness, unworldliness, uprightness,
upstandingness, virtue, virtuousness, worthiness
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
RIGHTEOUSNESS, n. A sturdy virtue that was once found among the
Pantidoodles inhabiting the lower part of the peninsula of Oque. Some
feeble attempts were made by returned missionaries to introduce it
into several European countries, but it appears to have been
imperfectly expounded. An example of this faulty exposition is found
in the only extant sermon of the pious Bishop Rowley, a characteristic
passage from which is here given:
"Now righteousness consisteth not merely in a holy state of
mind, nor yet in performance of religious rites and obedience to
the letter of the law. It is not enough that one be pious and
just: one must see to it that others also are in the same state;
and to this end compulsion is a proper means. Forasmuch as my
injustice may work ill to another, so by his injustice may evil be
wrought upon still another, the which it is as manifestly my duty
to estop as to forestall mine own tort. Wherefore if I would be
righteous I am bound to restrain my neighbor, by force if needful,
in all those injurious enterprises from which, through a better
disposition and by the help of Heaven, I do myself restrain."