Etymology
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ridden (adj.)

mid-14c., "that has ridden or travelled," past-participle adjective from ride (v.). The sense evolution, via horses, is from "that which has been ridden upon" to "broken in" (1520s) to, in compounds, "oppressed, taken advantage of" (1650s). In reference to witches, nightmares, etc., "to sit on or to ride as a horse" by 1590s.

updated on August 15, 2021

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