When fruit becomes ripe and ready to eat, it ripens. Tomatoes will ripen after you pick them, becoming darker red and more juicy.

You can use ripen to talk about the maturing process of all fruits, and some vegetables — apples, peppers, and corn all need to ripen before they're at the perfect, delicious state for being eaten. Figuratively, you can also talk about people this way: "She is really starting to ripen as an actor!" Before ripen was coined around 1560, the verb was ripe, as in, "When the avocados ripe, I'll make guacamole."

Definitions of ripen
  1. verb
    grow ripe
    “The plums ripen in July”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    grow, maturate, mature
    develop and reach maturity; undergo maturation
  2. verb
    cause to ripen or develop fully
    “The sun ripens the fruit”
    synonyms: mature
    see moresee less
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month