Idioms for ready

Origin of ready

1150–1200; Middle English redy, early Middle English rædig, equivalent to Old English rǣde prompt + -ig -y1


o·ver·read·y, adjectivepre·read·y, adjective

usage note for ready

See already. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for at the ready

/ (ˈrɛdɪ) /

adjective readier or readiest


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


(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

Idioms and Phrases with at the ready (1 of 2)

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]

Idioms and Phrases with at the ready (2 of 2)


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