- having arrived at such a stage of growth or development as to be ready for reaping, gathering, eating, or use, as grain or fruit; completely matured.
- resembling such fruit, as in ruddiness and fullness: ripe, red lips.
- advanced to the point of being in the best condition for use, as cheese or beer.
- fully grown or developed, as animals when ready to be killed and used for food.
- arrived at the highest or a high point of development or excellence; mature.
- of mature judgment or knowledge: ripe scholars; a ripe mind.
- characterized by full development of body or mind: of ripe years.
- (of time) advanced: a ripe old age.
- (of ideas, plans, etc.) ready for action, execution, etc.
- (of people) fully prepared or ready to do or undergo something: He was ripe for a change in jobs.
- fully or sufficiently advanced; ready enough; auspicious: The time is ripe for a new foreign policy.
- ready for some operation or process: a ripe abscess.
- Archaic. drunk: reeling ripe.
Origin of ripe
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ripest
Take the ripest and most juicy free-stone peaches you can procure.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
It is one of the ripest fruits of the Christian life, and, like all fruits, must be grown.Pax Vobiscum
Well revel in the strawberry beds, and try which peach is the ripest!The Rambles of a Rat
A. L. O. E.
"Then I'll pick out the ripest in the basket for you," said Irene, her voice trembling.A Modern Tomboy
L. T. Meade
One of the ripest and most all-wool musical comedies I've ever seen.Jill the Reckless
P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
- (of fruit, grain, etc) mature and ready to be eaten or used; fully developed
- mature enough to be eaten or usedripe cheese
- fully developed in mind or body
- resembling ripe fruit, esp in redness or fullnessa ripe complexion
- (postpositive foll by for) ready or eager (to undertake or undergo an action)
- (postpositive foll by for) suitable; right or opportunethe time is not yet ripe
- mature in judgment or knowledge
- advanced but healthy (esp in the phrase a ripe old age)
- complete; thorough
- excessive; exorbitant
- slang slightly indecent; risqué
Word Origin and History for ripest
Old English ripe "ready for reaping, fit for eating, mature," from West Germanic *ripijaz (cf. Old Saxon ripi, Middle Dutch ripe, Dutch rijp, Old High German rifi, German reif); related to Old English repan "to reap" (see reap). Meaning "ready for some action or effect" is from 1590s. Related: Ripely; ripeness.