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[rahy-puh n] /ˈraɪ pən/
verb (used with or 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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Year by year the god was killed in order that the seed might ripen and the harvest be secured.

    Theism or Atheism Chapman Cohen
  • That done, he was to return and ripen his preparations for the business he had undertaken.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • It is cooked much dryer in the making, so it takes longer to ripen and then keeps longer than any other.

    The Complete Book of Cheese Robert Carlton Brown
  • The outside of Braja Babu's head had then already begun to ripen into grey!

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • Finish with enough thick cream to make a full gallon, pack in salt and ice, freeze and let stand long enough to ripen.

    Dishes & Beverages of the Old South Martha McCulloch Williams
  • Figs are green before they ripen, and then they turn yellow.

    From Pole to Pole Sven Anders Hedin
  • After this the small green pods appear, fill out, and ripen, and then the producer of seed reaps his harvest.

    The Gladiolus Matthew Crawford
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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