1. a past participle of ride.

verb (used without object), rode or (Archaic) rid; rid·den or (Archaic) rid; rid·ing.

  1. to sit on and manage a horse or other animal in motion; be carried on the back of an animal.
  2. to be borne along on or in a vehicle or other kind of conveyance.
  3. to move or float on the water: the surfboarders riding on the crests of the waves.
  4. to move along in any way; be carried or supported: He is riding along on his friend’s success. Distress is riding among the people.
  5. to have a specified character for riding purposes: The car rides smoothly.
  6. to be conditioned; depend (usually followed by on): All his hopes are riding on getting that promotion.
  7. Informal. to continue without interruption or interference: He decided to let the bet ride.
  8. to be carried on something, as a litter, a person’s shoulders, or the like.
  9. to work or move up from the proper place or position (usually followed by up): Her skirt rode up above her knees.
  10. to extend or project over something, as the edge of one thing over the edge of another thing.
  11. to turn or rest on something: the great globe of the world riding on its axis.
  12. to appear to float in space, as a heavenly body: A blood-red moon rode in the cloudless sky.
  13. to lie at anchor, as a ship.

verb (used with object), rode or (Archaic) rid; rid·den or (Archaic) rid; rid·ing.

  1. to sit on and manage (a horse, bicycle, etc.) so as to be carried along.
  2. to sit or move along on (something); be carried or borne along on: The ship rode the waves. We ride a bus.
  3. to ride over, along, or through (a road, boundary, region, etc.); traverse.
  4. to ridicule or harass persistently: The boys keep riding him about his poor grades.
  5. to control, dominate, or tyrannize over: a man ridden by fear; a country that is ridden by a power-mad dictator.
  6. to cause to ride.
  7. to carry (a person) on something as if on a horse: He rode the child about on his back.
  8. to execute by riding: to ride a race.
  9. to rest on, especially by overlapping.
  10. to keep (a vessel) at anchor or moored.
  11. Jazz. to play improvisations on (a melody).


  1. a journey or excursion on a horse, camel, etc., or on or in a vehicle.
  2. a means of or arrangement for transportation by motor vehicle: We’ll handle rides to be sure everyone gets home quickly.
  3. the vehicle used for transportation: I’ve got to hang up now—my ride’s here.
  4. a vehicle or device, as a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, or merry-go-round, on which people ride for amusement.
  5. a way, road, etc., made especially for riding.

Verb Phrases

  1. ride out,
    1. to sustain (a gale, storm, etc.) without damage, as while riding at anchor.
    2. to sustain or endure successfully.
  1. ride down,
    1. to trample or overturn by riding upon or against.
    2. to ride up to; overtake; capture: The posse rode down the escaping bank robber.
    3. Nautical.to bear down upon (a rope of a tackle) with all one’s weight.
  2. ride for a fall, to conduct oneself so as to invite misfortune or injury.
  3. ride herd on. herd1(def 6).
  4. ride shotgun. shotgun(def 9).
  5. ride the beam, Aeronautics. to fly along the course indicated by a radio beam.
  6. take for a ride, Slang.
    1. to murder, especially by abducting the victim for that purpose.
    2. to deceive; trick: It was obvious to everyone but me that I was being taken for a ride.

  1. a combining form meaning “obsessed with,” “overwhelmed by” (torment-ridden) or “full of,” “burdened with” (debt-ridden).


  1. the past participle of ride


  1. (in combination) afflicted, affected, or dominated by something specifieddamp-ridden; disease-ridden

verb rides, riding, rode or ridden

  1. to sit on and control the movements of (a horse or other animal)
  2. (tr) to sit on and propel (a bicycle or similar vehicle)
  3. (intr ; often foll by on or in) to be carried along or travel on or in a vehicleshe rides to work on the bus
  4. (tr) to travel over or traversethey rode the countryside in search of shelter
  5. (tr) to take part in by ridingto ride a race
  6. to travel through or be carried across (sea, sky, etc)the small boat rode the waves; the moon was riding high
  7. (tr) US and Canadian to cause to be carriedto ride someone out of town
  8. (intr) to be supported as if floatingthe candidate rode to victory on his new policies
  9. (intr) (of a vessel) to lie at anchor
  10. (tr) (of a vessel) to be attached to (an anchor)
  11. (esp of a bone) to overlap or lie over (another structure or part)
  12. Southern African informal
    1. (intr)to drive a car
    2. (tr)to transport (goods, farm produce, etc) by motor vehicle or cart
  13. (tr) (of a male animal) to copulate with; mount
  14. (tr) slang to have sexual intercourse with (someone)
  15. (tr; usually passive) to tyrannize over or dominateridden by fear
  16. (tr) informal to persecute, esp by constant or petty criticismdon’t ride me so hard over my failure
  17. (intr) informal to continue undisturbedI wanted to change something, but let it ride
  18. (tr) to endure successfully; ride out
  19. (tr) to yield slightly to (a blow or punch) in order to lessen its impact
  20. (intr often foll by on) (of a bet) to remain placedlet your winnings ride on the same number
  21. (intr) jazz to play well, esp in freely improvising at perfect tempo
  22. ride roughshod over to domineer over or act with complete disregard for
  23. ride to hounds to take part in a fox hunt on horseback
  24. ride for a fall to act in such a way as to invite disaster
  25. ride again informal to return to a former activity or scene of activity
  26. riding high confident, popular, and successful


  1. a journey or outing on horseback or in a vehicle
  2. a path specially made for riding on horseback
  3. transport in a vehicle, esp when given freely to a pedestrian; liftcan you give me a ride to the station?
  4. a device or structure, such as a roller coaster at a fairground, in which people ride for pleasure or entertainment
  5. slang an act of sexual intercourse
  6. slang a partner in sexual intercourse
  7. take for a ride informal
    1. to cheat, swindle, or deceive
    2. to take (someone) away in a car and murder him

mid-14c., from past participle of ride (q.v.). Sense evolution, via horses, is from “that which has been ridden upon, broken in” (1520s) to, in compounds, “oppressed, taken advantage of” (1650s).


Old English ridan “sit or be carried on” (as on horseback), “move forward; rock; float, sail” (class I strong verb; past tense rad, past participle riden), from Proto-Germanic *ridanan (cf. Old Norse riða, Old Saxon ridan, Old Frisian rida “to ride,” Middle Dutch riden, Dutch rijden, Old High Germn ritan, German reiten), from PIE *reidh- “to ride” (cf. Old Irish riadaim “I travel,” Old Gaulish reda “chariot”).

Meaning “heckle” is from 1912; that of “have sex with (a woman)” is from mid-13c.; that of “dominate cruelly” is from 1580s. To ride out “endure (a storm, etc.) without great damage” is from 1520s. To ride shotgun is 1963, from Old West stagecoach custom in the movies. To ride shank’s mare “walk” is from 1846 (see shank (n.)).


1759, “journey on the back of a horse or in a vehicle,” from ride (v.); slang meaning “a motor vehicle” is recorded from 1930; sense of “amusement park device” is from 1934. Meaning “act of sexual intercourse” is from 1937. To take (someone) for a ride “tease, mislead, cheat,” is first attested 1925, American English, possibly from underworld sense of “take on a car trip with intent to kill” (1927). Phrase go along for the ride in the figurative sense “join in passively” is from 1956. A ride cymbal (1956) is used by jazz drummers for keeping up continuous rhythm, as opposed to a crash cymbal (ride as “rhythm” in jazz slang is recorded from 1936).

In addition to the idioms beginning with ride

  • ride for a fall
  • ride hellbent for leather
  • ride herd on
  • ride high
  • ride out
  • ride roughshod over
  • ride shotgun
  • ride up

also see:

  • along for the ride
  • go along (for the ride)
  • gravy train, ride the
  • hitch a ride
  • let ride
  • take someone for a ride
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