One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘a ripe tomato’
mature, ripened, fully developed, full grown, ready to eat, soft, lush, juicy, tender
luscious, sweet, full-flavoured, mellow
2‘the former dock is ripe for development’
ready, fit, suitable, right
3‘he lived to the ripe old age of ninety’
advanced, hoary, venerable, old
4‘the time is ripe for his return’
opportune, advantageous, favourable, auspicious, propitious, promising, heaven-sent, good, right, fortunate, benign, providential, felicitous, well timed, convenient, expedient, suitable, appropriate, apt, fitting
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