ripen

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English *ripenen (suggested by deverbal ripening (causing ripness; ripening)), equivalent to ripe +‎ -en (verbal suffix).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

ripen (third-person singular simple present ripens, present participle ripening, simple past and past participle ripened)

  1. (intransitive) to grow ripe; to become mature (said of grain, fruit, flowers etc.)
    Grapes ripen in the sun.
    • 1918, John Muir, Steep Trails Chapter XII
      [] the desert soil of the Great Basin is as rich in the elements that in rainy regions rise and ripen into food as that of any other State in the Union.
  2. (intransitive) To approach or come to perfection.
  3. (transitive) To cause to mature; to make ripe
    The warm sun ripened the corn.
  4. (transitive) To mature; to fit or prepare; to bring to perfection
    ripen the judgment
    • 1673, John Milton, When Faith and Love which parted from thee never
      When Faith and Love which parted from thee never
      Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God
    • 1776, Edward Gibbon, “General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West”, in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, volume III, London: Printed for W[illiam] Strahan; and T[homas] Cadell, in the Strand, OCLC 995235880, page 631:
      But the decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatneſs. Proſperity ripened the principle of decay; the cauſes of deſtruction multiplied with the extent of conqueſt; and as ſoon as time or accident had removed the artificial ſupports, the ſtupendous fabric yielded to the preſſure of its own weight. The ſtory of its ruin is ſimple and obvious; and instead of enquiring why the Roman empire was deſtroyed, we ſhould rather be ſurprised that it had ſubſiſted ſo long.

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