rip·​en | \ˈrī-pən, ˈrī-pᵊm\
ripened; ripening\ˈrī-​pə-​niŋ, ˈrīp-​niŋ \

Definition of ripen 

intransitive verb

: to grow or become ripe

transitive verb

1 : to make ripe

2a : to bring to completeness or perfection

b : to age or cure (cheese) to develop characteristic flavor, odor, body, texture, and color

c : to improve flavor and tenderness of (beef or game) by aging under refrigeration

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Other Words from ripen

ripener \ˈrī-​pə-​nər, ˈrīp-​nər \ noun

Examples of ripen in a Sentence

The tomatoes finished ripening on the windowsill. You can ripen the fruit by placing it in a paper bag and storing it at room temperature for a few days.

Recent Examples on the Web

At the same time, farther north, the crop marks were just beginning to appear, and the wheat is just now beginning to ripen. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Climate change brings Britain and Ireland’s hidden past to the surface," 1 Aug. 2018 At the height of the season's popularity, many farms will close early in order to let more berries ripen because the patches have been picked through. 2. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Strawberry season is almost here. Here are 8 Milwaukee-area farms where you can pick your own.," 16 May 2018 People with vestibular migraines can have specific triggers that bring on these symptoms, like changes in sleep patterns, menstruation, and foods like chocolate, ripened or aged cheese, and red wine, Johns Hopkins Medicine says. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Tell if Vestibular Migraines Are Why You Get Dizzy So Often," 12 July 2018 And remember: Valencia (or juice) oranges ripen later than winter navels. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Navel gazing yields king-size results," 26 Jan. 2018 Smut galls ripen and rupture, releasing spores that travel through the air to infect new plants and overwinter in the soil, awaiting future crops. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthy Food By Identifying + Treating These Common Plant Diseases," 21 July 2015 Skip quick-ripening bananas and reach for long-lasting apples. Alex Richards, ajc, "Why experts think you should skip the milk and bread and head straight to the produce aisle before an emergency," 30 May 2018 Cooling and smashing each piece of fruit opens up more surface area for Kirnon to turn the sugars liberated by ripening into a form-fitting coat of heady plantain caramel with the final fry. Ali Bouzari, San Francisco Chronicle, "Housemade: The science behind the skillets at Miss Ollie’s in Oakland," 16 May 2018 As for the ripening, some varieties ripen one to two months later than others. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "Browning spider plant could be fertilizer scorched," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ripen.' 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 ripen

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Statistics for ripen

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ripen

The first known use of ripen was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for ripen



English Language Learners Definition of ripen

: to become ripe and ready to eat

: to make (something) ripe


rip·​en | \ˈrī-pən \
ripened; ripening

Kids Definition of ripen

: to make or become ripe

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More from Merriam-Webster on ripen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ripen

Spanish Central: Translation of ripen

Nglish: Translation of ripen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ripen for Arabic Speakers

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