\ ˈrīp How to pronounce ripe (audio) \
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
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

But a spot high up in the Boston beer hierarchy seemed ripe for the taking back then. Jon Chesto,, "Night Shift brews up a Philly expansion," 27 Aug. 2019 The darling three-bedroom, one bathroom cottage at 926 Rosedale Drive seems ripe for a Joanna Gaines-style makeover. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "You Can Buy One of Farah Fawcett's Childhood Homes in Corpus Christi for $129,500," 19 Aug. 2019 Still, for a generation brought up to smile in the face of almost any affront or risk being tarred as a harridan, older women’s indignation seems ripe for reassessment. New York Times, "They’re Mad as Hell," 30 July 2019 After decades of dividing state and federal policymakers, the criminal justice field seems ripe for consensus, said Adam Gelb, the council’s chief executive. Washington Post, "Panel of national leaders aims for bipartisan justice reform," 23 July 2019 Landers seems the next North Alabama ripe for breakthrough. Matt Wake |,, "Alabama musician to appear on ‘America’s Got Talent’," 22 June 2019 Medicine has long seemed ripe for more examples of intelligent robots or computers that can make sense of the reams of data that are the lifeblood of the profession. Time, "Machines Treating Patients? It's Already Happening," 21 Mar. 2019 Whitaker — and his relationship with the president — already seem ripe for the show’s scrutiny. Rachel Withers, Vox, "It was a nostalgic end for Saturday Night Live’s Jeff Sessions," 11 Nov. 2018 With his dense prose and sentences that go on for days, the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy might not seem ripe for big-screen adaptation. Jennifer M. Wood, WIRED, "The 7 Best Sci-Fi Movies You Can Stream Right Now, From Rogue One to The Matrix," 22 May 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

20 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce ripe (audio) \
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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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