or read·y-made



an everyday manufactured object, as a bottle rack, a snow shovel, a urinal, or a comb, that may by the creative act of selection and designation by an artist attain status as a work of art: associated almost exclusively with the aesthetic activities of Marcel Duchamp during the period 1915 to 1917.

Origin of readymade

< French < English; term introduced by Duchamp in 1915




made in advance for sale to any purchaser, rather than to order: a ready-made coat.
made for immediate use.
unoriginal; conventional.


something that is ready-made, as a garment or a piece of furniture or equipment.

Origin of ready-made

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for readymade

Contemporary Examples of readymade

  • It counts as a  readymade, of sorts, because like Duchamp's famous urinal it transplants a functional object into the art world.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Duchamp's Time Machine

    Blake Gopnik

    May 2, 2012

Historical Examples of readymade

  • Camp was pitched upon a knoll with plenty of pine trees so standing that natural tentpoles were readymade.

    Girl Scouts in the Rockies

    Lillian Elizabeth Roy

  • And that was devoted to what—readymade clothes, ski clothes, and that sort of thing?

    Warren Commission (9 of 26): Hearings Vol. IX (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

  • When a readymade definition, admirably rendered, is at your command, why be at the pains of making a new one for yourself?

    The Feasts of Autolycus

    Elizabeth Robins Pennell

British Dictionary definitions for readymade



made for purchase and immediate use by any customera ready-made jacket
extremely convenient or ideally suiteda ready-made solution
unoriginal or conventionalready-made phrases


a ready-made article, esp a garment
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