adjective, rud·di·er, rud·di·est.

of or having a fresh, healthy red color: a ruddy complexion.
red or reddish.
British Slang. damned: a ruddy fool.


British Slang. damned: He'd ruddy well better be there.

Origin of ruddy

before 1100; Middle English rudi, Old English rudig. See rudd, -y1
Related formsrud·di·ly, adverbrud·di·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ruddiness

Historical Examples of ruddiness

  • His face without spot, and adorned with a certain tempered ruddiness.

  • His face, for all his increase in flesh, lost its ruddiness.

    The Shadow

    Arthur Stringer

  • And the ruddiness had gone completely out of his smooth-shaven cheeks.

    The Country Beyond

    James Oliver Curwood

  • She was pale; on her lips appeared a slight trace of ruddiness.

    In Vain

    Henryk Sienkiewicz

  • There was in her hair the ruddiness of tried gold, spun into a web to catch the sun.

    The Stars in the Pool

    Edna Kingsley Wallace

British Dictionary definitions for ruddiness


adjective -dier or -diest

(of the complexion) having a healthy reddish colour, usually resulting from an outdoor life
coloured red or pinka ruddy sky

adverb, adjective informal, mainly British

(intensifier) bloody; damneda ruddy fool
Derived Formsruddily, adverbruddiness, noun

Word Origin for ruddy

Old English rudig, from rudu redness (see rudd); related to Old High German rot red 1, Swedish rod, Old Norse rythga to make rusty
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 ruddiness



late Old English rudig "rubicund," probably from rudu "redness," related to read "red" (see red (adj.1)). As a British slang euphemism for bloody (q.v.), first recorded 1914. Related: Ruddiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper