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ripe (adj.)

Old English ripe, of grain, fruit, seed, a field, "ready for reaping, mature," of animals used as food, "fit for eating," from West Germanic *ripijaz (source also of Old Saxon ripi, Middle Dutch ripe, Dutch rijp, Old High German rifi, German reif); related to Old English repan "to reap" (see reap).

Usually explained as "fit for reaping," in which case it would have been originally of grains and extended to all fruit. Figurative use by c. 1200. As "full-grown, developed, finished" (a ripe age) by late 14c. The meaning "ready for some action or effect" (as in the time is ripe) is from late 14c. Of lips, the mouth, "round and full, like ripe fruit," by 1580s. Related: Ripely. The proverb soon ripe, soon rotten is attested by 1540s.

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Definitions of ripe from WordNet

ripe (adj.)
fully prepared or eager;
the colonists were ripe for revolution
ripe (adj.)
fully developed or matured and ready to be eaten or used;
ripe peaches
Synonyms: mature
ripe (adj.)
most suitable or right for a particular purpose;
the time is ripe for great sociological changes
Synonyms: good / right
ripe (adj.)
at the highest point of development especially in judgment or knowledge;
a ripe mind
ripe (adj.)
far along in time;
the ripe age of 90
a ripe old age
Synonyms: advanced
From wordnet.princeton.edu