[rahy-puh n]

verb (used with or without object)

to make or become ripe.
to bring or come to maturity, the proper condition, etc.; mature.

Origin of ripen

First recorded in 1555–65; ripe + -en1
Related formsrip·en·er, nounhalf-rip·ened, adjectiveo·ver·rip·en, verbun·der·rip·ened, adjectiveun·rip·ened, adjectiveun·rip·en·ing, adjectivewell-rip·ened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ripen

Contemporary Examples of ripen

  • The motions will “ripen,” in the rather charming legislative argot applied to this aggressively charmless process, next Tuesday.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Reid Awakening

    Michael Tomasky

    July 12, 2013

  • Perhaps Snickers should have let Barr and Lewis ripen another 20 years.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Super Bowl Ads 2011: Report Card

    James P. Othmer

    February 7, 2011

  • The first, in 1990-91, was necessary, launched only after circumstance and great diplomatic effort had allowed it to “ripen.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Secrets of Two Iraq Wars

    Nathaniel Fick

    April 30, 2009

Historical Examples of ripen

British Dictionary definitions for ripen



to make or become ripe
Derived Formsripener, noun
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 ripen

"to grow ripe," 1560s, from ripe + -en (1). Related: Ripened; ripening. Earlier, the verb was simply ripe, from late Old English ripian, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper