adj. rip·er, rip·est
1. Fully developed; mature: ripe peaches.
2. Sufficiently advanced in preparation or aging to be used or eaten: ripe cheese.
3. Thoroughly matured, as by study or experience; seasoned: ripe judgment.
4. Advanced in years: the ripe age of 90.
5. Fully prepared to do or undergo something; ready: "By 1965 the republic was ripe for a coup" (Alex Shoumatoff).
6. Sufficiently advanced; opportune: The time is ripe for great societal changes.
7. Sensuous and full: ripe lips.
8. Coarse or indecent; vulgar: the comic's ripe language.
9. Emitting a foul odor: "the dirt and stench ... the mountains of ripe bushmeat in every camp" (Bryan Mealer).
[Middle English, from Old English rīpe.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.