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be ripe for the picking

To be in an ideal position or at the perfect stage to be utilized, benefited or profited from, taken advantage of, exploited, etc. (Alludes to fruit being at the right stage to be harvested.) Assert our brand early and aggressively enough, and this new market will be ripe for the picking. I heard that massive company just dropped their current PR team—that contract is ripe for the picking! This land is ripe for the picking if we can get the locals to sign over the rights to it.
See also: picking, ripe

early ripe, early rotten

A child prodigy will likely lose their abilities as they age. A: "But you played the piano so beautifully when you were younger." B: "I know. I guess it's true what they say—early ripe, early rotten."
See also: early, rotten

live to a ripe old age

To live to an especially old age. You won't be living to a ripe old age if you keep eating all that junk food! My grandmother on my dad's side lived to the ripe old age of 108.
See also: age, live, old, ripe

ripe for (something)

Particularly ready or in need of something; in the condition that most invites or calls for something to happen. In the absence of the dictator's authoritarian regime, the country is ripe for the rise of extremist groups. The industry claims that it has instituted safety standards, but in reality it is ripe for reform.
See also: ripe

Early ripe, early rotten,

 and Soon ripe, soon rotten.
Prov. A child with extraordinary talent or intelligence will probably lose those qualities by the time he or she grows up. Jill: Philip was such a fine young boy; I'm surprised he's become such a good-for-nothing adult. Jane: Early ripe, early rotten. Jane: You must be very proud of your little boy. He seems so mature for his age. Ellen: I'm afraid it won't last. You know what they say: "Soon ripe, soon rotten."
See also: early, rotten

ripe old age

a very old age. Mr. Smith died last night, but he lived to a ripe old age—99. All the Smiths seem to reach a ripe old age.
See also: age, old, ripe

time is ripe

Prov. It is the most favorable time to do something. You ought to buy a house this year. Prices are so low, and you have enough money saved for a down payment. The time is ripe. Since Joe was in a good mood, I judged that the time was ripe to ask him for the favor I needed.
See also: ripe, time

when the time is ripe

Fig. at exactly the right time. I'll tell her the good news when the time is ripe. When the time is ripe, I'll bring up the subject again.
See also: ripe, time

ripe old age

An age advanced in years, as in I expect to live to a ripe old age. The adjective ripe here means "fully developed physically and mentally," but the current use of the idiom usually just signifies a long lifespan. [Second half of 1300s]
See also: age, old, ripe

time is ripe

This is the right moment for something, as in The time is ripe for a revival of that play. Shakespeare used this term (and may have originated it) in 1 Henry IV (1:3): "Letters shall direct your course when time is ripe."
See also: ripe, time

like a ripe plum (or ripe plums)

used to convey that something can be obtained with little or no effort.
See also: like, plum, ripe

at/to a ˈripe old age


at/to the ripe old age of...

at/to a very old age: My grandmother lived to a ripe old age.My uncle was still driving a car at the ripe old age of 89.
See also: age, old, ripe

the time is ˈripe (for somebody) (to do something)


the time is ˈripe for something/for doing something

(literary) it is the right time to do something: I think the time’s ripe for him to leave home if he wants to.The time is ripe for a change in this country.
See also: ripe, time


1. mod. alcohol intoxicated. Yes, they were ripe all right. Stinking drunk.
2. mod. foul; smelly. Whooey! This place is ripe. What died?
3. mod. crude; raunchy. Your jokes are a bit ripe.
References in periodicals archive ?
Van Riper, a history of science professor at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia, could and should have read more and a greater selection of books.
Even critics of the transformation movement, such as Van Riper, concede that technology is important in today's military.
Van Riper is a collection of 35 peer-reviewed papers chronicling numerous studies on Hawaiian birds.
Van Riper, however, used this complaint to strengthen the client's confidence in the clinician and increase the assertiveness of the client.
If so, perhaps grocers and consumers could profit from riper and tastier berries than those that are picked early to prolong shelf life.
ROBERT VAN RIPER was public relations counsel to the board from its founding until his recent retirement.
Thomas Van Riper, president of Van Riper Realtors which specializes in the Queens real estate market, as well as some commercial, said he can afford to hire because he only pays commissions.
David's closest friends and family reached out to us asking for any help towards his funeral," Inga Van Riper of Honey's Place posted on the GoFundMe page.
Bowdoin Van Riper assert in their introduction to the volume, "the central myths of the frontier are myths of transformation: the weak become strong; the defiant are conquered; the wild is tamed" (xxiii).
But while riper grapes usually produce better wine, that's not always the case.
99 Sainsbury's A DIFFERENT take on Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - fruit from North Island rounded out by Pinot Grigio is riper than usual, with perfumed, spicy melon, grapefruit and gooseberry flavours.
Mrs Kitson said the issue for the jury was whether or not Ferris had driven "without due care and attention," knowing that she was in front of the car and in circumstances where his front seat passenger friend Matthew Forbes had told him to stop twice using "slightly riper language than that".
They found people who performed better at tasks including gripping, walking, rising from a chair and balancing on one leg tended to live to a riper age.