\ˈrīp \
riper; ripest

Definition of ripe 

1 : fully grown and developed : mature ripe fruit ripe wheat

2 : having mature knowledge, understanding, or judgment

3 : of advanced years : late a ripe old age

4a : suitable, appropriate the time was ripe for the attempt

b : fully prepared : ready the colonies were ripe for revolution

5a : brought by aging to full flavor or the best state : mellow ripe cheese

b : smelly, stinking

6 : ruddy, plump, or full like ripened fruit a ripe figure

7 : indecent ripe language

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Other Words from ripe

ripely adverb
ripeness noun

Examples of ripe in a Sentence

The apples are nearly ripe. the clothes of the field hands were sweaty and ripe after a hard day's work

Recent Examples on the Web

Use this guide to find a ripe melon every single time. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "How to Pick the Perfect Melon," 3 June 2018 Scientists believe the conditions are ripe for a major explosion within the next few days, CBS News' Carter Evans reports. CBS News, "Hawaii Kilauea volcano eruption: More Big Island residents told to be prepared to evacuate," 11 May 2018 Only one really impressed me: the 2016 Casa Silva Los Lingues Cabernet Sauvignon from Colchagua ($18), juicy and ripe with dark fruit and a smoky note. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Is This Chilean Wine Too Affordable?," 9 Nov. 2018 Diego Della Valle bought the heritage brand, sleepy but ripe with potential, in 2007. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "A Full-Circle Moment for the House of Schiaparelli and Bergdorf Goodman," 15 Oct. 2018 Lush, ripe mangoes are hanging from the trees in Florida. Linda Gassenheimer, sacbee, "Making a chicken mango salad? Soon you will get the tang of it," 10 July 2018 While trades around the All-Star Game are inevitable, the conditions are particularly ripe this year. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Will Manny Machado, Brad Hand and others get traded before All-Star Game?," 9 July 2018 The Bartlett pear turns a buttery yellow when ripe, but Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle and Seckel do not change color. Heloise, Houston Chronicle, "What are these?," 19 June 2018 In late June, summer produce is exceptionally abundant – think ripe Apache apricots, juicy Seascape strawberries, and luscious herbs. San Francisco Chronicle, "Hands-On Farmers Market Cocktail Class with El Tesoro Tequila," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ripe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ripe

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ripe

Middle English, from Old English rīpe; akin to Old English rīpan, reopan to reap

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Statistics for ripe

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ripe

The first known use of ripe was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for ripe



English Language Learners Definition of ripe

of fruits and vegetables : fully grown and developed and ready to be eaten

: ready or suitable for something

of food and especially cheese : brought to full flavor or the best state by being stored for a period of time


\ˈrīp \
riper; ripest

Kids Definition of ripe

1 : fully grown and developed ripe fruit

2 : of advanced years a ripe old age

3 : ready entry 1 sense 1 They were ripe for action.

Other Words from ripe

ripeness noun



Legal Definition of ripe 

1 : of, relating to, or being a claim for relief that is ready for judicial resolution because the injury is certain to occur and is not merely hypothetical or speculative — compare moot

2 : ready and appropriate for disclosure because reasonably determined to be valid and not required to be kept secret for business reasons used of corporate information

Other Words from ripe

ripeness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on ripe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ripe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ripe

Spanish Central: Translation of ripe

Nglish: Translation of ripe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ripe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ripe

What made you want to look up ripe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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