ride down,
    1. to trample or overturn by riding upon or against.
    2. to ride up to; overtake; capture: The posse rode down the escaping bank robber.
    3. bear down upon (a rope of a tackle) with all one's weight.
    ride for a fall, to conduct oneself so as to invite misfortune or injury.
    ride herd on. herd1(def 6).
    ride shotgun. shotgun(def 9).
    ride the beam, Aeronautics. to fly along the course indicated by a radio beam.
    take for a ride, Slang.
    1. to murder, especially by abducting the victim for that purpose.
    2. to deceive; trick: It was obvious to everyone but me that I was being taken for a ride.

Origin of ride

before 900; 1915–20 for def 17; Middle English riden (v.), Old English rīdan; cognate with Old Frisian rīda, German reiten, Old Norse rītha; akin to Old Irish ríad journey (cf. palfrey, rheda). See road

Synonym study

2. See drive. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for ride for a fall


verb rides, riding, rode or ridden

to sit on and control the movements of (a horse or other animal)
(tr) to sit on and propel (a bicycle or similar vehicle)
(intr ; often foll by on or in) to be carried along or travel on or in a vehicleshe rides to work on the bus
(tr) to travel over or traversethey rode the countryside in search of shelter
(tr) to take part in by ridingto ride a race
to travel through or be carried across (sea, sky, etc)the small boat rode the waves; the moon was riding high
(tr) US and Canadian to cause to be carriedto ride someone out of town
(intr) to be supported as if floatingthe candidate rode to victory on his new policies
(intr) (of a vessel) to lie at anchor
(tr) (of a vessel) to be attached to (an anchor)
(esp of a bone) to overlap or lie over (another structure or part)
Southern African informal
  1. (intr)to drive a car
  2. (tr)to transport (goods, farm produce, etc) by motor vehicle or cart
(tr) (of a male animal) to copulate with; mount
(tr) slang to have sexual intercourse with (someone)
(tr; usually passive) to tyrannize over or dominateridden by fear
(tr) informal to persecute, esp by constant or petty criticismdon't ride me so hard over my failure
(intr) informal to continue undisturbedI wanted to change something, but let it ride
(tr) to endure successfully; ride out
(tr) to yield slightly to (a blow or punch) in order to lessen its impact
(intr often foll by on) (of a bet) to remain placedlet your winnings ride on the same number
(intr) jazz to play well, esp in freely improvising at perfect tempo
ride roughshod over to domineer over or act with complete disregard for
ride to hounds to take part in a fox hunt on horseback
ride for a fall to act in such a way as to invite disaster
ride again informal to return to a former activity or scene of activity
riding high confident, popular, and successful


a journey or outing on horseback or in a vehicle
a path specially made for riding on horseback
transport in a vehicle, esp when given freely to a pedestrian; liftcan you give me a ride to the station?
a device or structure, such as a roller coaster at a fairground, in which people ride for pleasure or entertainment
slang an act of sexual intercourse
slang a partner in sexual intercourse
take for a ride informal
  1. to cheat, swindle, or deceive
  2. to take (someone) away in a car and murder him
Derived Formsridable or rideable, adjective

Word Origin for ride

Old English rīdan; related to Old High German rītan, Old Norse rītha
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 ride for a fall



Old English ridan "sit or be carried on" (as on horseback), "move forward; rock; float, sail" (class I strong verb; past tense rad, past participle riden), from Proto-Germanic *ridanan (cf. Old Norse riða, Old Saxon ridan, Old Frisian rida "to ride," Middle Dutch riden, Dutch rijden, Old High Germn ritan, German reiten), from PIE *reidh- "to ride" (cf. Old Irish riadaim "I travel," Old Gaulish reda "chariot").

Meaning "heckle" is from 1912; that of "have sex with (a woman)" is from mid-13c.; that of "dominate cruelly" is from 1580s. To ride out "endure (a storm, etc.) without great damage" is from 1520s. To ride shotgun is 1963, from Old West stagecoach custom in the movies. To ride shank's mare "walk" is from 1846 (see shank (n.)).



1759, "journey on the back of a horse or in a vehicle," from ride (v.); slang meaning "a motor vehicle" is recorded from 1930; sense of "amusement park device" is from 1934. Meaning "act of sexual intercourse" is from 1937. To take (someone) for a ride "tease, mislead, cheat," is first attested 1925, American English, possibly from underworld sense of "take on a car trip with intent to kill" (1927). Phrase go along for the ride in the figurative sense "join in passively" is from 1956. A ride cymbal (1956) is used by jazz drummers for keeping up continuous rhythm, as opposed to a crash cymbal (ride as "rhythm" in jazz slang is recorded from 1936).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with ride for a fall

ride for a fall

Court danger or disaster, as in I think that anyone who backs the incumbent is riding for a fall. This idiom alludes to the reckless rider who risks a bad spill. [Late 1800s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with ride

  • ride for a fall
  • ride hellbent for leather
  • ride herd on
  • ride high
  • ride out
  • ride roughshod over
  • ride shotgun
  • ride up

also see:

  • along for the ride
  • go along (for the ride)
  • gravy train, ride the
  • hitch a ride
  • let ride
  • take someone for a ride
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.