adjective, read·i·er, read·i·est.
verb (used with object), read·ied, read·y·ing.
- ready money,
- ready reckoner,
- ready room,
- ready, willing, and able,
- to bring to a state of readiness or completion; prepare.
- Printing.to ready a press for printing.
Origin of ready
adjective readier or readiest
- poised for use or actionwith pen at the ready
- (of a rifle) in the position normally adopted immediately prior to aiming and firing
Word Origin for ready
early 13c., "to administer;" c.1300, "to take aim;" mid-14c., "to prepare, make ready," from ready (adj.). Related: Readied; readying.
Old English ræde, geræde "prepared, ready," of a horse, "ready for riding," from Proto-Germanic *garaidijaz "arranged" (cf. Old Frisian rede "ready," Middle Dutch gereit, Old High German reiti, Middle High German bereite, German bereit, Old Norse greiðr "ready, plain," Gothic garaiþs "ordered, arranged"), from PIE root *reidh- "to ride" (see ride (v.)). Lengthened in Middle English by change of ending. Ready-made first attested early 15c.; ready-to-wear is from 1890.
at the ready
Available for immediate use, as in Umbrellas at the ready, we were prepared to brave the storm. This idiom was originally a military term in which the ready denoted the position of a firearm prepared to be raised and aimed or fired. [First half of 1800s]
In addition to the idiom beginning with ready
, also see
- at the ready
- get ready
- good and (ready)
- rough and ready