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 ruddy

Contemporary Examples of ruddy

Historical Examples of ruddy

  • Here were two with wrists and sleeves all spotted with the ruddy grape juice.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Within the door of the cottage you discern the wife, with her ruddy English cheek.

    Main Street

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • But nowhere were there faces of ruddy tan as one sees in a world of sun.

  • A bank of clouds had swallowed the last vestige of ruddy light.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • Under his ruddy tan his skin was no longer fresh, but dull and sallow.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

British Dictionary definitions for ruddy


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 ruddy

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