Definition of ripe in US English:



  • 1(of fruit or grain) developed to the point of readiness for harvesting and eating.

    • ‘With five of us it was only a few hours of work, and I had a great time watching the more athletic ones hang from branches trying to grab that last far-flung, beautifully ripe orange.’
    • ‘He poured himself a cup of coffee and picked a ripe, juicy peach for breakfast.’
    • ‘He can tell by looking if a fruit is ripe or overly grown.’
    • ‘The branches greened, leaves sprouted, and blossoms sprung and turned into ripe apples.’
    • ‘Berry bushes may be bare these days, but come next summer, they'll be laden with ripe fruit.’
    • ‘Her voice was so soft that he nearly missed the question, losing the words in the rustle of ripe wheat that surrounded them.’
    • ‘Trees bearing big, ripe fruits of all kinds were everywhere.’
    • ‘There are crops which are ripe now and ready to be harvested!’
    • ‘Quinces grew in the valley, and their fruits were ripe.’
    • ‘He sat up and plucked a large ripe orange off the weighted tree.’
    • ‘The fruit is ripe for the picking so long as you can be bothered to pick the fruit.’
    • ‘Outside in the back garden, he could see Mrs Galloway, who was their cook, picking ripe fruit from the strawberry patches nearby the greenhouse, collecting them in her apron.’
    • ‘I looked at the date palm trees that lined the roads, dripping with lush ripe dates.’
    • ‘I proceeded to pick the ripe fruits and vegetables.’
    • ‘About a half mile from the trailer there was a stand of trees filled with ripe cherries.’
    • ‘He looked carefully around him as he walked, noting bushes laden with ripe fruit.’
    • ‘The vendors took great pride in displaying and selling their wares; the ripe fruits adding colour and the voices of vendors adding din to the already noisy bazaar.’
    • ‘The tree was dripping with ripe, juicy peaches that looked so soft and succulent that they'd burst in your mouth at first bite.’
    • ‘Infecting fruits, flowers, and trees, gray mold looks like gray fuzz and is found on aging blossoms and soft ripe fruits.’
    • ‘I ignored him still, knowing I was too high up to be seen, and picked a lovely ripe apple bigger than any he had gotten.’
    • ‘What I craved was local food in season: ripe strawberries, fresh asparagus, traditional apple varieties.’
    mature, ripened, fully developed, full grown, ready to eat, soft, lush, juicy, tender
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a cheese or wine) fully matured.
      ‘a ripe Brie’
      figurative ‘ripe wisdom’
      • ‘Flying winemakers and a bright, ripe, flashy set of world-conquering wines are now set to grab the world's attention.’
      • ‘A generation of consumers accustomed to ripe, sweeter fleshy wines from the new world will be astonished at the sheer opulence of these wines.’
      • ‘A ripe Australian Shiraz or Californian Zinfandel might be described as beefy.’
      • ‘This is a gorgeous, perfectly ripe and totally consistent Cabernet Sauvignon.’
      • ‘There is no big fruit, just intense, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon and tight old fashioned tannins.’
      • ‘I give them each some of my real buttermilk, soured just right, or a chunk of my ripe cheese.’
    2. 1.2 (of a smell or flavor) rich, intense, or pungent.
      ‘rich, ripe flavors emanate from this wine’
      • ‘The two riders hauled their animals to a halt at the very edge of the riverbed, smelling the carnage before they saw it: a ripe stench hanging on the breeze.’
    3. 1.3 (of a female fish or insect) ready to lay eggs or spawn.
    4. 1.4ripe forpredicative Arrived at the fitting stage or time for (a particular action or purpose)
      ‘land ripe for development’
      • ‘Workplace tensions, whether related to compensation issues, unrealistic profit margins or setting rapid growth goals, can create an environment ripe for fraud.’
      • ‘The time appeared to be ripe for renewed government spending.’
      • ‘The time is ripe for a new way to move information through the system quickly.’
      • ‘By the 1970s, this area had become a neglected eyesore, ripe for development.’
      • ‘By 1910, then, the time was ripe for abstract art, and it developed more or less simultaneously in various countries.’
      • ‘The time is ripe for arguments such as those presented in this book to be taken and discussed seriously.’
      • ‘Like a field anthropologist, Smith provides data and case studies ripe for cultural theory.’
      • ‘As the industries start to mature, many are ripe for restructuring, often via mergers.’
      • ‘When the work became public in this form, I believe it also became ripe for discussion and criticism.’
      • ‘Shortly after Copland's death in 1990, Pollack decided the time was ripe for a fuller study of his life and work.’
      • ‘A system with few clear boundaries and no real checks and balances is ripe for chaos.’
      • ‘Upon graduation, Goss jotted down three cities on scraps of paper-Los Angeles, New York and Boston-that she considered ripe for a job in advertising and picked one out of a hat.’
      • ‘‘Malaysia is ripe right now for venture capital,’ he said, adding it is a missing element in Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor scheme.’
      • ‘The time is ripe for a new focus on winning a share of the shopper that will have a shelf life well beyond the cold, hard realities of an economic slowdown.’
      • ‘He felt his stomach growling, and decided the time was ripe for some food.’
      • ‘The time was ripe for change, hence the creation of the Academy in 1980.’
      • ‘Although the area is quite rural, local residents feared the township, which grew by 35 percent in the last decade, was ripe for development.’
      • ‘The time was ripe for a show to come along and engage millions of women with nothing to watch.’
      • ‘Alcoholic or not, most of us are ripe for a detox.’
      • ‘The product family of vending machines is likely to be the area most ripe for radical technological development.’
      ready, fit, suitable, right
      opportune, advantageous, favourable, auspicious, propitious, promising, heaven-sent, good, right, fortunate, benign, providential, felicitous, well timed, convenient, expedient, suitable, appropriate, apt, fitting
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5ripe withpredicative Full of.
      ‘a population ripe with discontent’
      • ‘George's poetry is ripe with sexual symbolism.’
      • ‘The air was ripe with the smell of hay and horses.’
      • ‘Investors, at any rate, still seem to view Asia as ripe with opportunity, and are taking the long-term view in regards to engagement with the region.’
      • ‘And most importantly, they are ripe with greed.’
      • ‘The road trip that results, as one would expect, is ripe with adventure, from motorcycle crashes, to drunken endeavours, to amorous encounters with beautiful women, right through to the stunning scenery that their journey encompasses.’
      • ‘As an emerging conceptual framework, political ecology is ripe with opportunity for robust historical research.’
      • ‘And, again, the situation is ripe with all sorts of hypocrisy.’
      • ‘It's easy to see why this music appealed to him: it has a mesmerizing quality in many of its slow moments, and the more dramatic ones are ripe with color and atmosphere.’
      • ‘Case's lyrics are ripe with vivid imagery and longing.’
      • ‘The film may be ripe with clichés, but it embraces that concept.’
      • ‘It was around midnight and the place was ripe with furiously drunk students.’
      • ‘Their scenes together are ripe with tension, both sexual and dramatic, and their relationship develops in emotionally intricate ways.’
      • ‘But the future is ripe with possibilities, like live television or an entire network with programming made especially for your cell phone.’
      • ‘The industry is so ripe with foolishness, pretensions and self-loathing that nothing can be said or done to make it appear even more foolish.’
      • ‘Park takes these various threads and weaves them into a rich whole, a picture ripe with social commentary that he populates with an engaging cast of interesting characters and shoots with the vividness and style that we've come to expect.’
      • ‘Yet both led lives ripe with scandal and public disgrace.’
      • ‘The health-services industry is ripe with opportunity.’
      • ‘The story of her recovery is ripe with drama and pathos.’
      • ‘The room is said to be ripe with wax figures and giant toy farm animals.’
      • ‘The idea of these two people, each saddled with real issues, trying to break through psychological barriers and make a meaningful connection is ripe with possibilities.’
    6. 1.6attributive (of a person's age) advanced.
      ‘she lived to a ripe old age’
      • ‘Even at his ripe age of twenty-nine, he still maintained a few secrets of his own.’
      • ‘At the ripe age of 39, this exuberant Brazilian choreographer has rapidly become a major player in the cultural landscape of her native country.’
      • ‘When they returned to New Plymouth, they moved to a house on the corner of Dawson and Vivian Streets, where Mary King lived until the ripe old age of 93.’
      • ‘However, at my ripe age of 16, I didn't care much for a car yet.’
      • ‘Amy Clarke lived in Farran House to the ripe old age of 101 and left it to her daughter, who was by then in her 80s.’
      • ‘And now, he's just made one of his very best records in any genre at the ripe old age of 61.’
      • ‘At the ripe age of 26, the two were closer then ever and lived together in a house in rural New England.’
      • ‘She liked her slight eccentricity and the fact that, despite being the ripe old age of seventy-two, she remained fiercely independent and fully alert and updated on the world around her.’
      • ‘The costly ceremony usually takes place some days or weeks after the burial of the corpse and is normally performed only for the rich and famous as well as for those who had lived to a ripe old age and were survived by children.’
      • ‘At the ripe old age of 38, I found myself CEO of a public company that, at the time, had the biggest one-day gain in Wall Street history.’
      • ‘It seems that her more recent projects have met with little success; this is unfortunate, but since even now she has only reached the ripe old age of 20, we can still hope to see more of her in the future.’
      • ‘Born in Bologna in 1706, he lived to the ripe old age of 78, a remarkable achievement at the time.’
      • ‘The lady reminded Fiona of her own grandmother, who passed away three years ago from cancer at the ripe old age of ninety-one.’
      • ‘But in my ripe old age of 29 years, I have to say I was completely disappointed by my digital viewing experience.’
      • ‘He was small and gangly for the ripe age of sixteen, unlike Christopher, who was two-years his senior and certainly looked the role of a strong handsome young man.’
      • ‘I never had trouble talking to guys on the phone before, except for that first time, and now, at the ripe old age of twenty-four, I couldn't think of anything to say.’
      • ‘My grandmother, of course, lived up to a ripe old age.’
      • ‘At the ripe age of 20, Kate married Oscar Chopin, another wealthy Creole and successful cotton broker in Louisiana.’
      • ‘Since a miraculous cure to fix the ills of American health care is unlikely to happen quickly, to help you stay healthy to a ripe old age, what are your options?’
      • ‘At the ripe age of 43 and after [more than] 17 years at the same job, I have no financial security; I live paycheck to paycheck.’
      advanced, hoary, venerable, old
      View synonyms
    7. 1.7informal (of a person's language) beyond the bounds of propriety; coarse.


  • the time is ripe

    • A suitable time has arrived.

      ‘the time was ripe to talk about peace’
      • ‘However, when rates begin to decrease, as they are now, the time is ripe for developing long-term interventions at the primary level, and evaluation of current interventions.’
      • ‘Still, analysts and wireless execs believe the time is ripe for mobile commerce.’
      • ‘Coughlan believes the time is ripe for more emphasis on international markets.’
      • ‘Second, the time is ripe to develop a new, constructive approach in Latin America and to re-energize economic reforms, fortify democracy and build strong security partnerships.’
      • ‘Sanders said the time is ripe for the U.S. dairy industry to embrace the probiotic and prebiotic theories and develop products which deliver health to consumers through the inclusion of these naturally-occurring healthy bacteria.’
      • ‘Ordinary citizens, civil society and religious leaders should also join the cause: the time is ripe for a truly global ‘people's campaign’ against terrorism.’
      • ‘In other words, the time is ripe for combining biology and economics.’
      • ‘He's preparing to crush the miners in the barracks when he feels the time is ripe.’
      • ‘He agrees that the time is ripe for examining the emerging Latino market.’
      • ‘‘I feel that there is more to this Grand Master than meets the eye,’ he said, ‘When the time is ripe, I believe that we shall see his true capabilities.’’


Old English rīpe, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch rijp and German reif.