1 of 2


readier; readiest
: prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action
: prepared for immediate use
dinner is ready
: willingly disposed : inclined
ready to agree to his proposal
: likely to do something indicated
a house that looks ready to collapse
: displayed readily and spontaneously
a ready wit
: immediately available
had ready cash


2 of 2


readied; readying

transitive verb

: to make ready
at the ready
: ready for immediate use
kept guns at the ready
Choose the Right Synonym for ready

quick, prompt, ready, apt mean able to respond without delay or hesitation or indicative of such ability.

quick stresses instancy of response and is likely to connote native rather than acquired power.

quick reflexes
a keen quick mind

prompt is more likely to connote training and discipline that fits one for instant response.

prompt emergency medical care

ready suggests facility or fluency in response.

backed by a pair of ready assistants

apt stresses the possession of qualities (such as intelligence, a particular talent, or a strong bent) that makes quick effective response possible.

an apt student
her answer was apt and to the point

Examples of ready in a Sentence

Adjective I'll be ready in 10 minutes. “Can we leave now?” “I'm ready when you are.” Your prescription will be ready in about 20 minutes. The car won't be ready until tomorrow. We got everything ready for the party before the guests arrived. Verb They readied the room for guests. She readied herself to speak. We have to ready ourselves for a tough fight ahead.
Recent Examples on the Web
There was a flurry of activity lasting two days when a wren methodically cleaned out old feathers, droppings and dead insects, leaving behind a sparkling nest ready for the next brood, and likely the female was tucked inside during the latest cold, rainy and hailing night. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2024 The Chesapeake 1000, a gargantuan crane that can lift 1,000 tons at a time, has been deployed to the site and is ready for use, said Pinchasin, but has so far been thwarted by the depth of the water around areas of the wreckage. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2024 The Royals plan to have the stadium ready for Opening Day 2028, said Sarah Tourville, the team’s executive vice president. The Kansas City Star, Kansas City Star, 30 Mar. 2024 To stand out from the crowd and be ready for what comes, get ready now. Ann Kowal Smith, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 Others suggested the world might be ready for a Japanese response to that story. Yuri Kageyama, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Mar. 2024 Some Republican leaders have become concerned that his campaign doesn’t have the infrastructure ready for a general election battle with Biden. Colleen Long, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2024 Read on for details about this collection of new eateries ready to fuel your day. Amanda Hancock, The Courier-Journal, 19 Mar. 2024 Have a backup plan ready in case the video call cannot be salvaged—exchange phone numbers to ensure a smooth transition in the event of irreparable connectivity problems. Ebony Flake, Essence, 19 Mar. 2024
Blaire likens the system to that of a trauma alert — a message sent to medical centers to ready a response to near-fatal car wrecks or shootings. Lauren Peace, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024 These are some of the materials that are readying us for the next chapter of the coronavirus saga. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2024 It will be tasked with naming a prime minister to replace Henry, readying the country to receive the mission and preparing for eventual elections. Syra Ortiz Blanes, Miami Herald, 22 Mar. 2024 The new owners have spent the last few weeks quietly readying the space, tinkering with recipes; the breakfast sandwich and jerk chicken sandwich are now served on Jamaican-style coco bread with a golden sheen of crust. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2024 Volunteer Robin Gorman readies the dining room and stays out of the kitchen. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 7 Mar. 2024 But the businesses also are readying to deliver recreational pot to adults 21 and over should California voters approve November’s Proposition 64. Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee, 21 Feb. 2024 To make sure others get to see your outfit, players will be able to see the gear of ther hunters in the Hunt-A-Thon screen before readying up to battle a monster. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, 8 Mar. 2024 Microsoft appears to be readying its own DLSS-like AI upscaling feature for PC games. Tom Warren, The Verge, 12 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ready.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English redy; akin to Old English gerǣde ready, Goth garaiths arranged

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ready was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near ready

Cite this Entry

“Ready.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
readier; readiest
: prepared for use or action
dinner is ready
: likely to do something
ready to cry
: willing sense 1
ready to give aid
: showing ease and promptness
a ready answer
: available right away : handy
ready money


2 of 2 verb
readied; readying
: to make ready : prepare

More from Merriam-Webster on ready

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