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  1. Printing. the process of preparing a form for printing by overlays or underlays to equalize the impression.
  2. the act or process of making something ready for use: a charge for make-ready on the new car.
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Origin of make-ready

First recorded in 1820–30; noun use of verb phrase make ready


adjective, read·i·er, read·i·est.
  1. completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use: troops ready for battle; Dinner is ready.
  2. duly equipped, completed, adjusted, or arranged, as for an occasion or purpose: The mechanic called to say that the car is ready.
  3. willing: ready to forgive.
  4. prompt or quick in perceiving, comprehending, speaking, writing, etc.
  5. proceeding from or showing such quickness: a ready reply.
  6. prompt or quick in action, performance, manifestation, etc.: a keen mind and ready wit.
  7. inclined; disposed; apt: too ready to criticize others.
  8. in such a condition as to be imminent; likely at any moment: a tree ready to fall.
  9. immediately available for use: a ready source of cash.
  10. pertaining to prompt payment.
  11. present or convenient: to lie ready to one's hand.
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verb (used with object), read·ied, read·y·ing.
  1. to make ready; prepare.
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  1. the state or condition of being ready.
  2. Informal. ready money; cash.
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  1. (used in calling the start of a race to indicate that racers should be prepared to start): Ready! Set! Go!
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  1. 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.
  2. get ready! (in calling the start of a race) be prepared to start: Get ready! Get set! Go!
  3. make ready,
    1. to bring to a state of readiness or completion; prepare.
    2. Printing.to ready a press for printing.
  4. ready up, British and Australian Slang. to swindle.
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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

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Antonyms for ready

Usage note

See already.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for make ready

load, protect, prepare, supply, provide, strengthen, fortify, mobilize, tailor, organize, determine, schedule, promote, manage, negotiate, construct, resolve, design, decide, draft

British Dictionary definitions for make ready


  1. printing the process of preparing the forme and the cylinder or platen packing to achieve the correct impression all over the forme
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adjective readier or readiest
  1. in a state of completion or preparedness, as for use or action
  2. willing or eagerready helpers
  3. prompt or rapida ready response
  4. (prenominal) quick in perceiving; intelligenta ready mind
  5. (postpositive foll by to) on the point (of) or liable (to)ready to collapse
  6. (postpositive) conveniently near (esp in the phrase ready to hand)
  7. make ready or get ready to prepare oneself or something for use or action
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  1. the ready informal short for ready money
  2. 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
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  1. (tr) to put in a state of readiness; prepare
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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 make ready



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

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with make ready

make ready

see get ready.

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In addition to the idiom beginning with ready

, also see

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


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