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  1. the act or fact of clearing away or out, as anything undesirable.
  2. relief or deliverance from something.
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  1. good riddance, a welcome relief or deliverance from something: He's gone, and good riddance!
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Origin of riddance

First recorded in 1525–35; rid1 + -ance


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1. ouster, clearance, dislodgment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for riddance

Historical Examples

  • But it is for you to accept or reject what I propose as the riddance of this curse to your community.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman

  • One step is a riddance of all the servants; I wonder how many you can do with.

  • Dan'l, I'd better go into the house, and die and be a riddance!'

    David Copperfield

    Charles Dickens

  • Riddance from it was only a dim hope, the remotest of possibilities.

  • He was well rid of it all, since in the riddance the doors of his prison-house were unlocked.

British Dictionary definitions for riddance


  1. the act of getting rid of something undesirable or unpleasant; deliverance or removal (esp in the phrase good riddance)
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for riddance


1530s, from rid + -ance. Good riddance, "a welcome relief from unpleasant company or an embarrassing connection" attested from 1650s (fair riddance in same sense from 1610s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with riddance


see good riddance.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.