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[rip-ing] /ˈrɪp ɪŋ/
Chiefly British Informal. excellent; splendid; fine.
1705-15; rip1 + -ing2
Related forms
rippingly, adverb


[rip] /rɪp/
verb (used with object), ripped, ripping.
to cut or tear apart in a rough or vigorous manner:
to rip open a seam; to rip up a sheet.
to cut or tear away in a rough or vigorous manner:
to rip bark from a tree.
to saw (wood) in the direction of the grain.
Digital Technology. to copy (audio or video files from a CD, DVD, or website) to a hard drive or mobile device, typically by extracting the raw data and changing the file format in the process:
Can you rip this CD for me?
See also DAE.
verb (used without object), ripped, ripping.
to become torn apart or split open:
Cheap cloth rips easily.
Informal. to move with violence or great speed:
The sports car ripped along in a cloud of dust and exhaust fumes.
a rent made by ripping; tear.
Slang. a cheat, swindle, or theft; ripoff:
The average consumer doesn't realize that the new tax is a rip.
Verb phrases
rip into, Informal. to attack physically or verbally; assail.
rip off, Slang.
  1. to steal or pilfer.
  2. to rob or steal from.
  3. to swindle, cheat, or exploit; take advantage of:
    phony charity appeals that rip off a gullible public.
rip out, Informal. to utter angrily, as with an oath or exclamation.
let rip, Slang.
  1. to utter a series of oaths; swear.
  2. to speak or write violently, rapidly, or at great length.
  3. to allow to proceed at full speed or without restraint.
1470-80; 1960-65 for def 10; obscurely akin to Frisian rippe, dialectal Dutch rippen; compare dialectal English ripple to scratch
Related forms
rippable, adjective
unrippable, adjective
Can be confused
burglarize, mug, rip off, rob, steal (see synonym study at rob)
1. See tear2 . 7. laceration, cut. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ripping
  • The wreckers cut it short one morning by ripping off the roof over his head before he was up.
  • The damage was in the soffit area and the extent was only known once the contractor started ripping into things.
  • It's good award for ratting out these agencies that are ripping off the tax payers.
  • Third, you are ripping off the author and publisher.
  • Instead of ripping of stereos, they'll be ripping off battery packs.
  • Air-sealing the house to modern standards would mean ripping off the siding and wrapping the house from the outside.
  • They ate in bed, picking up the herring with their fingers and ripping the baguette with their hands.
  • And their first million came from ripping off the state in the period of negotiated revolution.
  • Drivers had switched on their headlights, and the wind was ripping vines from their trellises.
  • The strong bill was useful for ripping leaves from plants.
British Dictionary definitions for ripping


(archaic, Brit, slang) excellent; splendid
Derived Forms
rippingly, adverb


requiescat or requiescant in pace
Word Origin
Latin: may he, she, or they rest in peace


short for riptide (sense 1)
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from rip1


noun (informal, archaic)
something or someone of little or no value
an old worn-out horse
a dissolute character; reprobate
Word Origin
C18: perhaps altered from rep, shortened from reprobate
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 ripping

"cutting," 1714, present participle adjective from rip (v.). Slange meaning "Very fast, rapid" os from 1826, hence further slang development "excellent, splendid" (1846.). Related: Rippingly.



"tear apart," c.1400, probably of North Sea Germanic origin (cf. Flemish rippen "strip off roughly," Frisian rippe "to tear, rip") or else from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish reppa, Danish rippe "to tear, rip"). In either case, from Proto-Germanic *rupjan-, from PIE root *reup-, *reub- "to snatch." Meaning "to slash open" is from 1570s. Related: Ripped; ripping.

In garments we rip along the line at which they were sewed; we tear the texture of the cloth. ... Rend implies great force or violence. [Century Dictionary]
Meaning "to move with slashing force" (1798) is the sense in let her rip, American English colloquial phrase attested from 1853. The noun is attested from 1711. The parachutist's rip cord (1911) originally was a device in ballooning to open a panel and release air.


"rough water," 1775, perhaps a special use of rip (v.). Originally of seas; application to rivers is from 1828.

"thing of little value," 1815, earlier "inferior or worn-out horse" (1778), perhaps altered from slang rep (1747) "man of loose character; vicious, reckless and worthless person," which itself is perhaps short for reprobate (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ripping in Science
  1. A stretch of water in a river, estuary, or tidal channel made rough by waves meeting an opposing current.

  2. A rip current.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for ripping

rip 1


A debauched and dissolute person; libertine: the proper way to treat a rip

[1797+; perhaps a variant of rep fr reprobate]

rip 2

  1. An official demerit or fine (1939+ Police)
  2. An insult; a disparagement; knock: master of the off-field rip (1940s+)
  3. A joy; a pleasure: What a rip it is to know there are still people who feel for the cars they put together (1970s+)
  4. A try; attempt; crack, ripple, shot: I'll have a rip at that old record (1940s+)
  5. ripoff (1990s+)
  1. To strongly criticize, disparage: William Proxmire who is usually ripped for refusing to bring home the bacon (1857+ British dialect)
  2. (also rip-ass) To speed; barrel, tear: cars rip-assing up and down the street (1853+)
Related Terms

give something a shot, have a crack at something

[all, one way or another, fr rip, ''tear''; third noun sense perhaps related to ripping, ''excellent, first-rate,'' found by 1846]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for ripping


  1. raster image processor
  2. reproductive immunophynotype
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with ripping


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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