Definition of rid in English:



[with object]rid someone/something of
  • 1Make someone or something free of (an unwanted person or thing)

    ‘boil the peel to rid it of bitterness’
    • ‘Bury North MP David Chaytor has welcomed a range of new powers aimed at ridding communities of the scourge of graffiti.’
    • ‘The scientists, headed by biologist Sergei Speransky, claim corporal punishment not only rids people of addictions but also helps overcome depression and suicidal tendencies, the daily Izvestia reported.’
    • ‘But young people are fighting back in South Yorkshire and today will descend on London, seeking to rid their county of its unwanted image.’
    • ‘A company that rids buildings of cancer-causing radon says every home should be tested for the gas even if protective measures have been installed in the building and it's located in an area considered to have low levels of the gas.’
    • ‘Many evolutionists advocate euthanasia as a wonderful means to rid us of unwanted burdens.’
    • ‘It has been discovered that the vitamin has the ability to rid your body of the free radicals that sometimes prevent oxygen being pumped around your limbs.’
    • ‘They said that ridding the prison system of those serving short sentences would free officers to concentrate on rehabilitation work designed to prevent serious criminals reoffending on release.’
    • ‘Gorbachev blamed himself for being too concerned about playing by democratic rules and not simply ridding the party of forces opposed to his reforms when he had a chance.’
    • ‘The concentration camp system also claimed millions of non-Jewish victims, though their murder was not part of the same plan as that devised to rid Europe of Jews for ever.’
    • ‘According to medieval hagiography, Patrick's powers also encompassed raising the dead, conjuring snow on a summer's day and, of course, ridding Ireland of snakes.’
    • ‘The increase comes as a blow to health and education officials who have spent the past three years trying to rid Southampton of its unwanted title as the south's teenage pregnancy hot spot.’
    • ‘Although washing and drying rids the bottles of bacteria, frequent washing accelerates the breakdown of plastic bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate, releasing toxins into the water.’
    • ‘And so the Dufourgs turned to Gina Rose, a 43-year-old Arizonan whose specialty is ridding buildings of unwanted energies.’
    • ‘From 1983 to 1987 the 5th Brigade were given a free hand to rid Matabeleland of the perceived threat.’
    • ‘They have delivered real change on the ground and rid communities of the scourge of drugs.’
    • ‘By learning some simple facts about weeds, you can put yourself in a much better position to rid your garden of these unwanted guests.’
    • ‘Mr Holmes, who is also a keen foxhunter, said he provided a service to local farmers by ridding their land of vermin.’
    • ‘A CAMPAIGN to rid Grimsby of abandoned cars has resulted in more than 50 unwanted vehicles being handed over in the first 10 days.’
    • ‘The beleaguered authority is to discuss the way forward in ridding the city of unwanted homes, which are magnets to vandals, at a meeting next Monday.’
    clear, free, make free, cleanse, purge, purify, empty, strip, scour, void, relieve, deliver
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    1. 1.1be rid of Be freed or relieved of.
      ‘she couldn't wait to be rid of us’
      • ‘There were also claims that husbands brought their wives to institutions just to be rid of them.’
      • ‘They don't deserve protection and the sooner society is rid of them the sooner we will have a better society.’
      • ‘Was it our desire, living in a society where everything is disposable, to be rid of a person who was seen as a burden?’
      • ‘So, as you can imagine, she felt quite relieved to be rid of all that for three months.’
      • ‘If all goes well, the world could be declared to be rid of polio by 2008.’
      • ‘Parents wanting to be rid of undesirables will be free to set up their own grammar schools with their own selection systems.’
      • ‘We won't be rid of foot and mouth disease for several months yet.’
      • ‘And this is giving hope to many millions of people to rise up and say we want to be rid of an occupying force.’
      • ‘You'd think authors would be glad to be rid of the burden really.’
      • ‘For example, a normal experience of illness is something that one suffers and seeks to be rid of as soon as possible.’
      • ‘She wanted to kill herself, right then and there, to be rid of all the pain that shattered her insides.’
      • ‘I was so relieved to be rid of him that I just kept hugging Derek over and over.’
      • ‘No, you threw it in the garbage, and you felt relieved and refreshed to be rid of it.’
      • ‘This is something that I don't think society will ever be rid of completely.’
      • ‘So the little girl whose mother wanted so desperately to be rid of her will likely have a good and safe family life after all.’
      • ‘Though it matched their bedstead, Steph wanted to be rid of the wardrobe.’
      • ‘Touchwood sees the illegitimate child he has fathered as ‘a half a yard of flesh’ and, relieved to be rid of it with just a small financial outlay, he remarks ‘and would I were rid of all the wares in the shop so’.’
      • ‘"I'm glad I'm finally rid of it, " I said.’
      • ‘The problem: there is no junkyard for garbage like this, or at least there's no way to ever truly be rid of it.’
      • ‘I abhor my father and was relieved to be rid of the burden of his last name.’


  • be well rid of

    • Be in a better state for having removed (a troublesome or unwanted person or thing)

      ‘she thought the world was well rid of him’
      • ‘It confirms what I suspected: that Ellen is well rid of this crazy woman.’
      • ‘The University of Sydney will be well rid of him.’
      • ‘And the world is well rid of him.’
      • ‘And judging by Tariana Turia's vote, Labour is well rid of her.’
      • ‘Not only will the captaincy issue be resolved, but their countries will be well rid of them in the political domain.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister told the committee: ‘I'm quite sure we did the right thing because, not merely was he a threat to his region, to the wider world, but it was an appalling regime that the world is well rid of.’’
      • ‘For the next two days we went on as such, and by the time we reached the Post I was heartily sick of their constant ribbing about the boy, and had come to look on him as something to be well rid of as soon as we arrived.’
      • ‘No, they'd decided they were well rid of the WWC.’
  • get rid of

    • Take action so as to be free of (a troublesome or unwanted person or thing)

      ‘we have been campaigning to get rid of the car tax for 20 years’
      • ‘Get rid of clutter on countertops and closets or on window sills.’
      • ‘Perhaps you should dig it up, getting rid of all the roots, and try something else as a windbreak.’
      • ‘I've been trying to get rid of the smoke smell too.’
      • ‘How to get rid of this pest without the use of chemicals?’
      • ‘Having a shave and getting rid of unwanted body hair in the heat or sauna is also supposed to be relaxing for the nerves and skin.’
      • ‘Can you advise on the best way of getting rid of the smell?’
      • ‘While we did get rid of a bad dictator, the results are hardly encouraging.’
      • ‘Injected in small doses under the skin, it gets rid of wrinkles.’
      • ‘The annual event is held to get rid of rubbish on Orkney's beaches.’
      • ‘Physically, you must get rid of clutter (yes, have a wastebasket handy).’
      dispose of, do away with, throw away, throw out, toss out, clear out, discard, scrap, remove, dispense with, lose, dump, bin, unload, jettison, dismiss, expel, eject, weed out, root out
      destroy, abolish, eliminate, banish, annihilate, obliterate, wipe out, kill
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old Norse rythja. The original sense ‘to clear’ described clearing land of trees and undergrowth; this gave rise to ‘free from rubbish or encumbrances’, later becoming generalized.