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[ruhd-ee] /ˈrʌd i/
adjective, ruddier, ruddiest.
of or having a fresh, healthy red color:
a ruddy complexion.
red or reddish.
British Slang. damned:
a ruddy fool.
British Slang. damned:
He'd ruddy well better be there.
Origin of ruddy
before 1100; Middle English rudi, Old English rudig. See rudd, -y1
Related forms
ruddily, adverb
ruddiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ruddiness
Historical Examples
  • His face without spot, and adorned with a certain tempered ruddiness.

  • His face, for all his increase in flesh, lost its ruddiness.

    The Shadow Arthur Stringer
  • And the ruddiness had gone completely out of his smooth-shaven cheeks.

    The Country Beyond James Oliver Curwood
  • She was pale; on her lips appeared a slight trace of ruddiness.

    In Vain Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • There was in her hair the ruddiness of tried gold, spun into a web to catch the sun.

    The Stars in the Pool Edna Kingsley Wallace
  • The ruddiness had faded from his cheeks, and he was much thinner.

    The Tin Soldier

    Temple Bailey
  • Cecil Warner came through the doorway at the left, alone, his broad face sallow, all ruddiness washed away.

  • His paleness changed to the ruddiness of manhood; and his feeble limbs felt all the vigor of a hero in his prime.

  • There was no ruddiness in his face, the lips of which were pressed together in defiance of a cruel and credulous world.

  • Portland Place at Christmas in a black fog was never a rosy landscape, but in 1861 the most hardened Londoner lost his ruddiness.

British Dictionary definitions for ruddiness


adjective -dier, -diest
(of the complexion) having a healthy reddish colour, usually resulting from an outdoor life
coloured red or pink: a ruddy sky
adverb, adjective (informal, mainly Brit)
(intensifier) bloody; damned: a ruddy fool
Derived Forms
ruddily, adverb
ruddiness, noun
Word Origin
Old English rudig, from rudu redness (see rudd); related to Old High German rotred1, Swedish rod, Old Norse rythga to make rusty
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
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Word Origin and History for ruddiness



late Old English rudig "rubicund," probably from rudu "redness," related to read "red" (see red (adj.1)). As a British slang euphemism for bloody (q.v.), first recorded 1914. Related: Ruddiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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