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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 ruddy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Here were two with wrists and sleeves all spotted with the ruddy grape juice.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Within the door of the cottage you discern the wife, with her ruddy English cheek.

    Main Street Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • But nowhere were there faces of ruddy tan as one sees in a world of sun.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • A bank of clouds had swallowed the last vestige of ruddy light.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • Under his ruddy tan his skin was no longer fresh, but dull and sallow.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • The light had long since failed, but the fire gave a ruddy light.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • The rising fires of the sun illumined their faces with a ruddy glow.

British Dictionary definitions for ruddy


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 ruddy

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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