ripe comparative riper, superlative ripest
ripe fruit or crops are fully grown and ready to eat [≠ unripe]:
Those tomatoes aren't ripe yet.
to be ready for a change to happen, especially when it should have happened sooner:
The police forces are ripe for reform.
The former dock area is ripe for development.
used to say it is a very suitable time for something to happen, especially when it should have happened sooner:
The time is ripe for a review of progress up to now.
if you live to a ripe old age, you are very old when you die:
Eat less and exercise more if you want to live to a ripe old age.
used to show that you find it surprising or impressive that someone is doing something or has achieved something at a very young age - used humorously:
She was put in charge at the ripe old age of twenty-nine.
ripe cheese has developed a strong taste and is ready to eat [= mature]
6 especially British English
a ripe smell is strong and unpleasant - used humorously:
We were pretty ripe after a week of walking.
—ripeness noun [uncountable]