Idioms

    at the ready, in a condition of readiness, available for immediate use: shoppers with their umbrellas at the ready; soldiers keeping their weapons at the ready.
    get ready! (in calling the start of a race) be prepared to start: Get ready! Get set! Go!
    make ready,
    1. to bring to a state of readiness or completion; prepare.
    2. Printing.to ready a press for printing.
    ready up, British and Australian Slang. to swindle.

Origin of ready

1150–1200; Middle English redy, early Middle English rædig, equivalent to Old English rǣde prompt + -ig -y1
Related formso·ver·read·y, adjectivepre·read·y, adjective

Synonyms for ready

Antonyms for ready

Usage note

See already.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for at the ready

ready

adjective readier or readiest

in a state of completion or preparedness, as for use or action
willing or eagerready helpers
prompt or rapida ready response
(prenominal) quick in perceiving; intelligenta ready mind
(postpositive foll by to) on the point (of) or liable (to)ready to collapse
(postpositive) conveniently near (esp in the phrase ready to hand)
make ready or get ready to prepare oneself or something for use or action

noun

the ready informal short for ready money
at the ready
  1. poised for use or actionwith pen at the ready
  2. (of a rifle) in the position normally adopted immediately prior to aiming and firing

verb

(tr) to put in a state of readiness; prepare

Word Origin for ready

Old English (ge) rǣde; related to Old Frisian rēde, Old High German reiti, Old Norse reithr ready
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 at the ready

ready

v.

early 13c., "to administer;" c.1300, "to take aim;" mid-14c., "to prepare, make ready," from ready (adj.). Related: Readied; readying.

ready

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with at the ready

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]

ready

In addition to the idiom beginning with ready

, also see

  • at the ready
  • get ready
  • good and (ready)
  • rough and ready

.

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