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c.1200, "reach land, reach the end of a journey by sea," from Anglo-French ariver, Old French ariver (11c.) "to come to land," from Vulgar Latin *arripare "to touch the shore," from Latin ad ripam "to the shore," from ad "to" (see ad-) + ripa "shore" (see riparian). The original notion is of coming ashore after a long voyage. Of journeys other than by sea, from late 14c. Sense of "to come to a position or state of mind" is from late 14c. Related: Arrived; arriving.
To successfully establish one's position or reputation (1880s+)