General English

  • adjective ready to eat or to be picked


  • adjective referring to fruit or grain that is ready for eating


  • Fully developed or matured and ready for eating, usually used of fruits, vegetables and cheese


  • adjective physically attractive. An expression used on campus in the USA since around 2000.


  • adjective mature and ready to be picked and eaten
  • adjective matured or aged enough to have developed the best flavour


  • used to describe a wine that is rich, fruity and characteristic of correctly ripened grapes

Origin & History of “ripe”

Ripe is restricted to the west Germanic languages – it has relatives in German reif and Dutch rijp. Its antecedents are uncertain, but some have linked it with reap (OE), as if its underlying meaning is ‘ready for harvesting’. And reap itself may go back to an Indo-European base *rei- ‘tear, scratch’, and hence denote etymologically ‘strip’ the fruits, seeds, etc from plants.