Definition of ripe in US English:



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

    • ‘About a half mile from the trailer there was a stand of trees filled with ripe cherries.’
    • ‘The branches greened, leaves sprouted, and blossoms sprung and turned into ripe apples.’
    • ‘I proceeded to pick the ripe fruits and vegetables.’
    • ‘Quinces grew in the valley, and their fruits were ripe.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The tree was dripping with ripe, juicy peaches that looked so soft and succulent that they'd burst in your mouth at first bite.’
    • ‘What I craved was local food in season: ripe strawberries, fresh asparagus, traditional apple varieties.’
    • ‘The fruit is ripe for the picking so long as you can be bothered to pick the fruit.’
    • ‘He poured himself a cup of coffee and picked a ripe, juicy peach for breakfast.’
    • ‘Trees bearing big, ripe fruits of all kinds were everywhere.’
    • ‘Her voice was so soft that he nearly missed the question, losing the words in the rustle of ripe wheat that surrounded them.’
    • ‘He sat up and plucked a large ripe orange off the weighted tree.’
    • ‘There are crops which are ripe now and ready to be harvested!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He can tell by looking if a fruit is ripe or overly grown.’
    • ‘He looked carefully around him as he walked, noting bushes laden with ripe fruit.’
    • ‘Infecting fruits, flowers, and trees, gray mold looks like gray fuzz and is found on aging blossoms and soft ripe fruits.’
    • ‘Berry bushes may be bare these days, but come next summer, they'll be 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.’
    mature, ripened, fully developed, full grown, ready to eat, soft, lush, juicy, tender
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    1. 1.1 (of a cheese or wine) fully matured.
      ‘a ripe Brie’
      figurative ‘ripe wisdom’
      • ‘This is a gorgeous, perfectly ripe and totally consistent Cabernet Sauvignon.’
      • ‘A generation of consumers accustomed to ripe, sweeter fleshy wines from the new world will be astonished at the sheer opulence of these wines.’
      • ‘I give them each some of my real buttermilk, soured just right, or a chunk of my ripe cheese.’
      • ‘Flying winemakers and a bright, ripe, flashy set of world-conquering wines are now set to grab the world's attention.’
      • ‘A ripe Australian Shiraz or Californian Zinfandel might be described as beefy.’
      • ‘There is no big fruit, just intense, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon and tight old fashioned tannins.’
    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’
      • ‘The product family of vending machines is likely to be the area most ripe for radical technological development.’
      • ‘Like a field anthropologist, Smith provides data and case studies ripe for cultural theory.’
      • ‘Shortly after Copland's death in 1990, Pollack decided the time was ripe for a fuller study of his life and work.’
      • ‘The time appeared to be ripe for renewed government spending.’
      • ‘When the work became public in this form, I believe it also became ripe for discussion and criticism.’
      • ‘The time was ripe for change, hence the creation of the Academy in 1980.’
      • ‘He felt his stomach growling, and decided the time was ripe for some food.’
      • ‘The time is ripe for a new way to move information through the system quickly.’
      • ‘As the industries start to mature, many are ripe for restructuring, often via mergers.’
      • ‘By the 1970s, this area had become a neglected eyesore, ripe for development.’
      • ‘‘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 arguments such as those presented in this book to be taken and discussed seriously.’
      • ‘A system with few clear boundaries and no real checks and balances is ripe for chaos.’
      • ‘By 1910, then, the time was ripe for abstract art, and it developed more or less simultaneously in various countries.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Workplace tensions, whether related to compensation issues, unrealistic profit margins or setting rapid growth goals, can create an environment ripe for fraud.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As an emerging conceptual framework, political ecology is ripe with opportunity for robust historical research.’
      • ‘It was around midnight and the place was ripe with furiously drunk students.’
      • ‘The air was ripe with the smell of hay and horses.’
      • ‘The room is said to be ripe with wax figures and giant toy farm animals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But the future is ripe with possibilities, like live television or an entire network with programming made especially for your cell phone.’
      • ‘George's poetry is ripe with sexual symbolism.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Their scenes together are ripe with tension, both sexual and dramatic, and their relationship develops in emotionally intricate ways.’
      • ‘The film may be ripe with clichés, but it embraces that concept.’
      • ‘Case's lyrics are ripe with vivid imagery and longing.’
      • ‘The health-services industry is ripe with opportunity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The story of her recovery is ripe with drama and pathos.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yet both led lives ripe with scandal and public disgrace.’
    6. 1.6attributive (of a person's age) advanced.
      ‘she lived to a ripe old age’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My grandmother, of course, lived up to a ripe old age.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Born in Bologna in 1706, he lived to the ripe old age of 78, a remarkable achievement at the time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At the ripe age of 20, Kate married Oscar Chopin, another wealthy Creole and successful cotton broker in Louisiana.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even at his ripe age of twenty-nine, he still maintained a few secrets of his own.’
      • ‘However, at my ripe age of 16, I didn't care much for a car yet.’
      • ‘But in my ripe old age of 29 years, I have to say I was completely disappointed by my digital viewing experience.’
      • ‘The lady reminded Fiona of her own grandmother, who passed away three years ago from cancer at the ripe old age of ninety-one.’
      • ‘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 age of 39, this exuberant Brazilian choreographer has rapidly become a major player in the cultural landscape of her native country.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He's preparing to crush the miners in the barracks when he feels the time is ripe.’
      • ‘‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He agrees that the time is ripe for examining the emerging Latino market.’
      • ‘Coughlan believes the time is ripe for more emphasis on international markets.’
      • ‘Still, analysts and wireless execs believe the time is ripe for mobile commerce.’
      • ‘In other words, the time is ripe for combining biology and economics.’


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