- to clear, disencumber, or free of something objectionable (usually followed by of): I want to rid the house of mice. In my opinion, you'd be wise to rid yourself of the smoking habit.
- to relieve or disembarrass (usually followed by of): to rid the mind of doubt.
- Archaic. to deliver or rescue: to rid them out of bondage; to rid him from his enemies.
- be rid of, to be free of or no longer encumbered by: to be rid of obligations.
- get rid of, to eliminate or discard: It's time we got rid of this trash.
Origin of rid1
- (foll by of) to relieve or deliver from something disagreeable or undesirable; make free (of)to rid a house of mice
- get rid of to relieve or free oneself of (something or someone unpleasant or undesirable)
Word Origin and History for rid of
c.1200, "clear (a space); set free, save," from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse ryðja (past tense ruddi, past participle ruddr) "to clear (land) of obstructions," from Proto-Germanic *reudijanan (cf. Old High German riuten, German reuten "to clear land," Old Frisian rothia "to clear," Old English -royd "clearing," common in northern place names), from PIE root *reudh- "to clear land." The general sense of "to make (something) free (of something else)" emerged by 1560s. Senses merged somewhat with Northern English, Scottish, and U.S. dialectal redd. To get rid of (something or someone) is from 1660s. Related: Ridden; ridding.