[ red-ee ]
See synonyms for: readyreadiedreadiesreadying on

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.

  1. willing: ready to forgive.

  2. prompt or quick in perceiving, comprehending, speaking, writing, etc.

  3. proceeding from or showing such quickness: a ready reply.

  4. prompt or quick in action, performance, manifestation, etc.: a keen mind and ready wit.

  5. inclined; disposed; apt: too ready to criticize others.

  6. in such a condition as to be imminent; likely at any moment: a tree ready to fall.

  7. immediately available for use: a ready source of cash.

  8. pertaining to prompt payment.

  9. present or convenient: to lie ready to one's hand.

verb (used with object),read·ied, read·y·ing.
  1. to make ready; prepare.

  1. the state or condition of being ready.

  2. Informal. ready money; cash.

  1. (used in calling the start of a race to indicate that racers should be prepared to start): Ready! Set! Go!

Idioms about ready

  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!

  1. make ready,

    • to bring to a state of readiness or completion; prepare.

    • Printing. to ready a press for printing.

  2. ready up, British and Australian Slang. to swindle.

Origin of ready

First recorded in1150–1200; Middle English redy, early Middle English rædig, equivalent to Old English rǣde “prompt” + -ig -y1

confusables note For ready

See already.

Other words for ready

Opposites for ready

Other words from ready

  • o·ver·read·y, adjective
  • pre·read·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ready in a sentence

  • But I will say this for old Fakrash—nobody's readier to repair a blunder when once it's pointed out to him.

    The Brass Bottle | F. Anstey
  • I will not weary you with any more minute account of my new dwelling, leaving that duty to the readier pen of Julia.

    Aurelian | William Ware

British Dictionary definitions for ready


/ (ˈrɛdɪ) /

adjectivereadier or readiest
  1. in a state of completion or preparedness, as for use or action

  2. willing or eager: ready helpers

  1. prompt or rapid: a ready response

  2. (prenominal) quick in perceiving; intelligent: a ready mind

  3. (postpositive foll by to) on the point (of) or liable (to): ready to collapse

  4. (postpositive) conveniently near (esp in the phrase ready to hand)

  5. make ready or get ready to prepare oneself or something for use or action

  1. the ready informal short for ready money

  2. at the ready

    • poised for use or action: with pen at the ready

    • (of a rifle) in the position normally adopted immediately prior to aiming and firing

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

Origin of 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.