• synonyms


or red

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verb (used with object), redd or redd·ed, redd·ing. Northern and Midland U.S.
  1. to put in order; tidy: to redd a room for company.
  2. to clear: to redd the way.
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Origin of redd1

before 900; apparently conflation of 2 words: Middle English (Scots) reden to clear, clean up (a space, land), Old English gerǣdan to put in order (cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German rêden, reiden; akin to ready); and Middle English (Scots) redden to rid, free, clear, Old English hreddan to save, deliver, rescue (cognate with Old Frisian hredda, German retten)


  1. the spawning area or nest of trout or salmon.
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Origin of redd2

First recorded in 1640–50; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for redd

Historical Examples

  • Then she went indoors to redd up the houseplace and to attire herself.

    The Fifth Queen Crowned

    Ford Madox Ford

  • So the Duff Charringtons have been backing the little Redd girl?

    The Doctor

    Ralph Connor

  • The house, and especially the kitchen, was thoroughly "redd up."

  • She had redd up her house for the last time and put on her black merino.

  • Oh, so I had, mem; but I just fan' a doo in the redd o' my plate.

British Dictionary definitions for redd



Scot and Northern English dialect
verb redds, redding, redd or redded
  1. (tr often foll by up) to bring order to; tidy (up)
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  1. the act or an instance of redding
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Derived Formsredder, noun

Word Origin

C15 redden to clear, perhaps a variant of rid


  1. a hollow in sand or gravel on a river bed, scooped out as a spawning place by salmon, trout, or other fish
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Word Origin

C17 (originally: spawn): of obscure origin
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 redd


early 15c., "to clear" (a space, etc.), from Old English hreddan "to save, free from, deliver, recover, rescue," from Proto-Germanic *hradjan. Sense evolution tended to merge with unrelated rid. Also possibly influenced by Old English rædan "to arrange," related to Old English geræde, source of ready (adj.).

A dialect word in Scotland and northern England, where it has had senses of "to fix" (boundaries), "to comb" (hair), "to separate" (combatants), "to settle" (a quarrel). The exception to the limited use is the meaning "to put in order, to make neat or trim" (1718), especially in redd up, which is in general use in England and the U.S. Use of the same phrase, in the same sense, in Pennsylvania Dutch may be from cognate Low German and Dutch redden, obviously connected historically to the English word, "but the origin and relationship of the forms is not clear" [OED].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper