Definition of ruddy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrədē/

adjective (ruddier, ruddiest)

1(Of a person’s face) having a healthy red color: a cheerful pipe-smoking man of ruddy complexion
More example sentences
  • The guard's ruddy face flushed and he looked away.
  • Brown eyes stare back at me from beneath black eyebrows above a ruddy face framed by thick black hair which melts into a long, well-groomed beard.
  • I guess my face was all ruddy and my black hair covered in snow and ice even below the fur-hat, but I wasn't paying any attention to that.
1.1Having a reddish color: the ruddy evening light
More example sentences
  • Camp was set up in short order and soon a blazing fire lit the face of the edifice in a ruddy, wavering light.
  • His immediate impression was one of stifling heat and dim ruddy red light.
  • The desert coast gave way to the low palms of the Nile delta, and the sea turned ruddy from the fresh water flow of the great river.
2British informal Used as a euphemism for “bloody.”.
Example sentences
  • On the same basis, skiers should be warned that those plank things on their feet could cause them to slide downhill rather rapidly and hangmen that their gallows were a bit unsafe because of that ruddy great trapdoor.
  • I says to him, 'I'm not answering your bloody questions,' I says, 'I've already told your girl out there, I'm not going to ruddy St Mary's and that's that.'
  • ‘If anything's broken, I'm telling you, you can ruddy well pay for it’.

verb (ruddies, ruddying, ruddied)

[with object]
Make ruddy in color: a red flash ruddied the belly of a cloud



Pronunciation: /ˈrədl-ē/
( rare)
Example sentences
  • It's now as smooth and gleaming, and as ruddily glowing, as a freshly deforested Alpine slope at sunset.
  • I looked back up again at Vitto's ruddily handsome face, and the drops that were falling down on me.


Pronunciation: /ˈrədēnəs/
Example sentences
  • He's tall, skinny in a beefy way like he's done a lot of hiking or running, and has a ruddiness of cheek that suggests a keen interest in outdoor pursuits.
  • She was wearing no make-up at all, though it wasn't necessary; for her skin had a natural glow, her cheeks a natural ruddiness, her lips, a natural moisture.
  • At the moment I am using a combination of a yellowish liquid foundation and a pressed base to cover the natural ruddiness of my skin type.


Late Old English rudig, from the base of archaic rud 'red color'; related to red.

  • red from Old English:

    An Old English word which shares an ancient root with Latin rufus, Greek eruthros, and Sanskrit rudhira ‘red’. The colour red has traditionally been associated with radical political views, and from the 19th century particularly Communists. During the Cold War, when Americans feared reds under the bed or Communist sympathizers, the expression better dead than red was used to mean that the prospect of nuclear annihilation was preferable to that of a Communist society. The slogan was reversed by nuclear disarmament campaigners of the late 1950s as ‘better red than dead’. Something involving savage or merciless competition might be described as red in tooth and claw. The phrase came from Lord Tennyson's poem ‘In Memoriam’ (1854): ‘Nature, red in tooth and claw’. In Church calendars a saint's day or Church festival was distinguished by being written in red letters. This gives us a red letter day (early 18th century) for a pleasantly memorable, fortunate, or happy day. A less cheering use of red ink was customarily made to enter debit items and balances in accounts —which gives us in the red (early 20th century) to mean in debt or overdrawn.

    The colour red is supposed to provoke a bull, and is the colour of the cape used by matadors in bullfighting. From this we say that something will be like a red rag to a bull (late 19th century). A red herring is something, especially a clue, which misleads or distracts you. Red herrings have been around since the 15th century and got their colour from being heavily smoked to preserve them. The pungent scent was formerly used to lay a trail when training hounds to follow a scent. The red light district of a town is one with a lot of businesses concerned with sex. The phrase is from the red light traditionally used as the sign of a brothel. See also paint. People have been complaining about red tape, or excessive bureaucracy, since the 1730s. Real red or pinkish-red tape is used to bind together legal and official documents. Americans sometimes talk of not having a red cent to their name. Red got attached to the cent in the mid 19th century and refers to the colour of the copper used to make the one cent coin. Ruddy is from Old English rud, a variant form of ‘red’. The word's use as a euphemism for bloody dates from the early 20th century.

Words that rhyme with ruddy

bloody, buddy, cruddy, cuddy, muddy, nuddy, study

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rud·dy

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