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From Middle English redy, redi, rædiȝ, iredi, ȝerǣdi, alteration ( +‎ -y) of earlier irēd, irede, ȝerād (ready, prepared), from Old English rǣde, ġerǣde (also ġerȳde) ("prepared, prompt, ready, ready for riding (horse), mounted (on a horse), skilled, simple, easy"), from Proto-Germanic *garaidijaz, *raidijaz, from base *raidaz (ready), from Proto-Indo-European *rēydʰ-, *rēy- (to count, put in order, arrange, make comfortable) and also probably conflated with Proto-Indo-European *reydʰ- (to ride) in the sense of "set to ride, able or fit to go, ready". Cognate with Scots readie, reddy (ready, prepared), West Frisian ree (ready), Dutch gereed (ready), German bereit (ready), Danish rede (ready), Swedish redo (ready, fit, prepared), Norwegian reiug (ready, prepared), Icelandic greiður (easy, light), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐍂𐌰𐌹𐌸𐍃 (garaiþs, arranged, ordered).


  • enPR: rĕd'i, IPA(key): /ˈɹɛdi/
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    Homophones: reddy
    Rhymes: -ɛdi
  • Hyphenation: read‧y


ready (comparative readier, superlative readiest)

  1. Prepared for immediate action or use.
    The troops are ready for battle.  The porridge is ready to serve.
  2. Inclined; apt to happen.
  3. Liable at any moment.
    The seed is ready to sprout.
  4. Not slow or hesitating; quick in action or perception of any kind; dexterous; prompt; easy; expert.
    a ready apprehension;  ready wit;  a ready writer or workman
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Walter Scott
      [...] whose temper was ready, through surly
    • (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Macaulay
      ready in devising expedients
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], “The First Gun”, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175, page 16:
      Molly the dairymaid came a little way from the rickyard, and said she would pluck the pigeon that very night after work. She was always ready to do anything for us boys; and we could never quite make out why they scolded her so for an idle hussy indoors. It seemed so unjust. Looking back, I recollect she had very beautiful brown eyes.
    • 1895, Rudyard Kipling, “The King’s Ankus”, in The Second Jungle Book, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., OCLC 637556, page 188:
      "Apple of Death" is what the Jungle call thorn-apple or dhatura, the readiest poison in all India.
    • 2013 August 10, Lexington, “Keeping the mighty honest”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      The [Washington] Post's proprietor through those turbulent [Watergate] days, Katharine Graham, held a double place in Washington’s hierarchy: at once regal Georgetown hostess and scrappy newshound, ready to hold the establishment to account.
  5. Offering itself at once; at hand; opportune; convenient.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      the readiest way
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      A sapling pine he wrenched from out the ground, / The readiest weapon that his fury found.




The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


ready (third-person singular simple present readies, present participle readying, simple past and past participle readied)

  1. (transitive) To prepare; to make ready for action.



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ready (countable and uncountable, plural readies)

  1. (slang) ready money; cash
    • (Can we date this quote?) Arbuthnot
      Lord Strut was not flush in ready, either to go to law, or to clear old debts.
    • Agnes Owens
      [] he was generous when he had the cash. Many a time he kept me going in drink through the week when I was stuck for the ready []


Related termsEdit