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Denotation vs. Connotation

ripe old age

An age advanced in years, as in I expect to live to a ripe old age. The adjective ripe here means “fully developed physically and mentally,” but the current use of the idiom usually just signifies a long lifespan. [ Second half of 1300s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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