adjective, rip·er, rip·est.

Nearby words

  1. rip-tide,
  2. riparian,
  3. riparian right,
  4. riparian rights,
  5. ripcord,
  6. ripe old age,
  7. ripe rot,
  8. ripen,
  9. ripidolite,
  10. ripieno

Origin of ripe

before 900; Middle English; Old English rīpe; cognate with Dutch rijp, German reif; akin to Old English ripan to reap

1. grown, aged. Ripe, mature, mellow refer to that which is no longer in an incomplete stage of development. Ripe implies completed growth beyond which the processes of decay begin: a ripe banana. Mature means fully grown and developed as used of living organisms: a mature animal; a mature tree. Mellow denotes complete absence of sharpness or asperity, with sweetness and richness such as characterize ripeness or age: mellow fruit; mellow flavor.

Related formsripe·ly, adverbripe·ness, nounhalf-ripe, adjective

Can be confusedrife ripe (see synonym study at the current entry) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ripe

British Dictionary definitions for ripe



(of fruit, grain, etc) mature and ready to be eaten or used; fully developed
mature enough to be eaten or usedripe cheese
fully developed in mind or body
resembling ripe fruit, esp in redness or fullnessa ripe complexion
(postpositive foll by for) ready or eager (to undertake or undergo an action)
(postpositive foll by for) suitable; right or opportunethe time is not yet ripe
mature in judgment or knowledge
advanced but healthy (esp in the phrase a ripe old age)
  1. complete; thorough
  2. excessive; exorbitant
slang slightly indecent; risqué
Derived Formsripely, adverbripeness, noun

Word Origin for ripe

Old English rīpe; related to Old Saxon rīpi, Old High German rīfi, German reif

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 ripe



Old English ripe "ready for reaping, fit for eating, mature," from West Germanic *ripijaz (cf. Old Saxon ripi, Middle Dutch ripe, Dutch rijp, Old High German rifi, German reif); related to Old English repan "to reap" (see reap). Meaning "ready for some action or effect" is from 1590s. Related: Ripely; ripeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with ripe


In addition to the idiom beginning with ripe

  • ripe old age

also see:

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