To make righteous; specifically, to justify religiously, to absolve from sin.
Origin of Righteous
From earlier rightuous, rightwose, rightwos, rightwise, from Middle English rightwise, rightwis, from Old English rihtwÄ«s (“righteous, just, right, justifiable"), corresponding to right +"Ž -wise (with assimilation of second element to -ous), or to right +"Ž wise (“way, manner"). Cognate with Scots richtwis (“righteous"), Old High German rehtwÄ«sic (“righteous, just"), Icelandic réttvíss (“righteous, just"). Compare also thefteous, mighteous.
Middle English ryghtuous alteration of rihtwise from Old English rihtwīs riht right right -wīse -wise
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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