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[rahy-puh n] /ˈraɪ pən/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to make or become ripe.
to bring or come to maturity, the proper condition, etc.; mature.
Origin of ripen
1555-65; ripe + -en1
Related forms
ripener, noun
half-ripened, adjective
overripen, verb
underripened, adjective
unripened, adjective
unripening, adjective
well-ripened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ripen
  • They let us gauge the function or dysfunction of the clan, see how our hopes ferment, our kids grow and ripen.
  • Naval oranges ripen then because of the temperatures where they grow.
  • After the first year, the cones mature and the seeds ripen.
  • The fruit of nutmeg trees typically ripen early in the day, possibly to take advantage of the toucan's early morning activity.
  • Strawberries are delicate and go through different shades of red while they ripen on the vine.
  • Our community asparagus is also at its best, and the strawberries are beginning to ripen.
  • The nuts ripen in the autumn and fall to the ground.
  • Agricultural scientists could breed bananas with varying peel thicknesses so that each banana would ripen at a different rate.
  • Tomatoes and corn, for example, each come in varieties that ripen at different times during their respective growing seasons.
  • Fed appropriately the fruit will ripen and at the appropriate time be productive.
British Dictionary definitions for ripen


to make or become ripe
Derived Forms
ripener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ripen

"to grow ripe," 1560s, from ripe + -en (1). Related: Ripened; ripening. Earlier, the verb was simply ripe, from late Old English ripian, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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