let rip

verb (used with object), ripped, rip·ping.

  1. to cut or tear apart in a rough or vigorous manner: to rip open a seam; to rip up a sheet.
  2. to cut or tear away in a rough or vigorous manner: to rip bark from a tree.
  3. to saw (wood) in the direction of the grain.
  4. Digital Technology. to copy (audio or video files from a CD, DVD, or website) to a hard drive or mobile device, typically by extracting the raw data and changing the file format in the process: Can you rip this CD for me?Compare burn1(def 29).See also DAE

verb (used without object), ripped, rip·ping.

  1. to become torn apart or split open: Cheap cloth rips easily.
  2. Informal. to move with violence or great speed: The sports car ripped along in a cloud of dust and exhaust fumes.


  1. a rent made by ripping; tear.
  2. Slang. a cheat, swindle, or theft; ripoff: The average consumer doesn’t realize that the new tax is a rip.

Verb Phrases

  1. rip into, Informal. to attack physically or verbally; assail.
  2. rip off, Slang.
    1. to steal or pilfer.
    2. to rob or steal from.
    3. to swindle, cheat, or exploit; take advantage of: phony charity appeals that rip off a gullible public.
  3. rip out, Informal. to utter angrily, as with an oath or exclamation.


  1. let rip, Slang.
    1. to utter a series of oaths; swear.
    2. to speak or write violently, rapidly, or at great length.
    3. to allow to proceed at full speed or without restraint.

abbreviation for

  1. requiescat or requiescant in pace

verb rips, ripping or ripped

  1. to tear or be torn violently or roughly; split or be rent
  2. (tr ; foll by off or out) to remove hastily, carelessly, or roughlythey ripped out all the old kitchen units
  3. (intr) informal to move violently or precipitously; rush headlong
  4. (intr foll by into) informal to pour violent abuse (on); make a verbal attack (on)
  5. (tr) to saw or split (wood) in the direction of the grain
  6. (tr) informal computing to copy (music or software) without permission or making any payment
  7. let rip to act or speak without restraint


  1. the place where something is torn; a tear or split
  2. short for ripsaw


  1. short for riptide (def. 1)

noun informal, archaic

  1. something or someone of little or no value
  2. an old worn-out horse
  3. a dissolute character; reprobate

v.“tear apart,” c.1400, probably of North Sea Germanic origin (cf. Flemish rippen “strip off roughly,” Frisian rippe “to tear, rip”) or else from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish reppa, Danish rippe “to tear, rip”). In either case, from Proto-Germanic *rupjan-, from PIE root *reup-, *reub- “to snatch.” Meaning “to slash open” is from 1570s. Related: Ripped; ripping. In garments we rip along the line at which they were sewed; we tear the texture of the cloth. … Rend implies great force or violence. [Century Dictionary] Meaning “to move with slashing force” (1798) is the sense in let her rip, American English colloquial phrase attested from 1853. The noun is attested from 1711. The parachutist’s rip cord (1911) originally was a device in ballooning to open a panel and release air. n.1“rough water,” 1775, perhaps a special use of rip (v.). Originally of seas; application to rivers is from 1828. n.2“thing of little value,” 1815, earlier “inferior or worn-out horse” (1778), perhaps altered from slang rep (1747) “man of loose character; vicious, reckless and worthless person,” which itself is perhaps short for reprobate (n.).

  1. A stretch of water in a river, estuary, or tidal channel made rough by waves meeting an opposing current.
  2. A rip current.

In addition to the idioms beginning with rip

  • ripe old age
  • rip into
  • rip off
  • also see:

  • let it rip
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