Definition of ride in English:

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Pronunciation: /rʌɪd/

verb (past rode /rəʊd/; past participle ridden /ˈrɪd(ə)n/)

[with object]
1Sit on and control the movement of (an animal, typically a horse): Jane and Rory were riding their ponies [no object]: I haven’t ridden much since the accident
More example sentences
  • Why else would they risk injury to ride a bull or horse for eight seconds?
  • As a young girl, she lived on a farm and first rode sheep, then ponies and then horses which she loved.
  • The holidays will also offer the children, many of whom are from urban areas, the chance to look after animals and even ride horses and ponies.
sit on, mount, be mounted on, bestride;
manage, handle, control, steer
1.1 [no object, with adverbial] Travel on a horse or other animal: we rode on horseback some of the officers were riding back
More example sentences
  • The cavalry rode on special saddles that effectively locked them in place as they rode and all but allowed them to keep their arms free to fight with.
  • Then with that black face showing through the thin veneer of white he turned his horse toward camp and rode off at full gallop.
  • He heeled the horse forward, riding at a slow gallop until they were almost upon the others.
travel, go, move, progress, proceed, make one's way;
drive, cycle;
trot, canter, gallop
1.2Sit on and control (a bicycle or motorcycle): he rode a Harley Davidson across the United States
More example sentences
  • It is, for example, a great deal easier to demonstrate how to ride a bicycle than to verbalize it.
  • Alan noticed the bike a couple of weeks after he first rode his own bicycle to Tracy's weekly appointment.
  • Another allegation was that he rode a motorbike and quad bike erratically.
1.3 [no object] (ride in/on) Travel in or on (a vehicle) as a passenger: I started riding on the buses
More example sentences
  • He is also forbidden to ride in or on any vehicle without the consent of the owner or to drive without a licence.
  • As he rode in the vehicle half of his heart was overjoyed that he would be returning home so quickly.
  • He refuses to wear a seat belt when he's riding in the passenger side of a car.
1.4chiefly North American Travel in (a vehicle or lift): she rides the bus across 42nd Street
More example sentences
  • Passengers would fly to the space dock in a reusable launch vehicle, then ride a space elevator up to the hotel.
  • If you drive a sports utility vehicle, you'll use more sky than if you ride a bus; hence you'll pay more scarcity rent.
  • We rode buses, trolley cars, trains, trams, ferries and took a cab to make our way there and back.
1.5Go through or over (an area) on a horse, bicycle, etc. ride the full length of the Ridgeway
More example sentences
  • He rides the area around Bachelor nowadays.
  • They are not against country folk or anyone else riding the fields and meadows on horseback.
  • Maybe it takes riding the landscape with a native or old-timer who can point something out, to let you know how the geography has changed.
1.6Compete in (a race) on a horse, bicycle, or motorcycle: I rode a good race
More example sentences
  • I felt like I was riding so well, and the team rode a great race.
  • He rode a hard race in 2003 for victory but had to make do with third place this time around.
  • What's the most appalling weather you've ridden a race in?
1.7 [no object, with adverbial or complement] (Of a vehicle, animal, racetrack, etc.) be of a particular character for riding on or in: the Metro rode as well as some cars of twice the price
More example sentences
  • The Satellite rides like a bike that costs twice as much.
  • This car rides like the granite-wheeled sedans on The Flintstones.
  • On the highway the big truck rides like a large sedan, firm, quiet and comfortable.
1.8 informal Transport (someone) in a vehicle: the taxi driver who rode Kale into the airport not long ago
More example sentences
  • There'll be no taxi riding people back to their houses.
  • He used to tell me that he used to ride my grandmother to Amritsar to see a movie on his bicycle and then go back to Lahore.
  • I was ridden for five days to my destination, so that the farmer that currently owned me could collect the money.
1.9South African Transport (goods): neighbours rode loads of prickly pear to feed their animals
2Be carried or supported by (something moving with great momentum): a stream of young surfers fighting the elements to ride the waves figurative the fund rode the growth boom in the 1980s
More example sentences
  • Megawati took over the national leadership in July riding a wave of support from a rainbow coalition united against former president Abdurrahman Wahid.
  • They knew they just had to ride this wave of support and make sure that they put down the kind of roots that will attract ongoing support.
  • The Bulldogs rode their wave of momentum to win by 71 points, giving the club its first premiership since 1975.
2.1 [no object] Move so as to project or overlap: when two lithospheric plates collide, one tends to ride over the other
More example sentences
  • Higher yet, and the cue stick will ride over the ball, probably causing it to go nowhere.
  • Breaking waves ride over each other reddened by the lividity of a fulminous sky, mount and collapse, as they wrest down a tall toppling ship not far out of landfall.
  • Rebated rims are considered less reliable by some shooters who are concerned that the rifle bolt might ride over the rim rather than push it forward.
2.2 [no object] (Of a vessel) sail or float: a large cedar barque rode at anchor figurative the moon was riding high in the sky
More example sentences
  • From their front veranda we could look through a small grove of oaks to a quiet bay where sailing boats rode at anchor.
  • The chotts were the remnants of the Sea of Triton, claimed Roudaire, where ancient ships once rode at anchor.
  • In a fishing harbour near Bari in southern Italy, a flotilla of small boats rides low in the sea, weighed down by festival-goers.
3 (be ridden) Be full of or dominated by: you must not think him ridden with angst (as adjective, in combination -ridden) the crime-ridden streets
More example sentences
  • The province has been ridden by a sectarian conflict that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and displaced more than 750,000 people.
  • Police said that a bullet-ridden body was recovered from Krankshivan area of Sopore in Baramulla district.
  • A man who claimed to love animals allowed a pony to suffer neglect in a field where it became ridden with lice and worms, with little food or water.
4Yield to (a blow) so as to reduce its impact: Harrison drew back his jaw as if riding the blow
More example sentences
  • Jay-jay Okocha supplied the attacking inspiration as Wanderers rode the early blows to pose some serious first half problems of their own.
  • Leger favourite Enchanting Hero gave his supporters reason to sweat in the early stages of Heat 9 when forced to ride a few hefty bumps.
5 vulgar slang Have sexual intercourse with.
6North American Annoy, pester, or tease: if you don’t give all the kids a chance to play, the parents ride you
More example sentences
  • At the end of the day, I am just a player, and it's not something that has been riding me too hard.
  • What's more, when Baltimore is on the road, opposing fans will ride him like he's never been ridden.


1A journey made on a horse, bicycle, or motorcycle, or in a vehicle: I took them for a ride in the van figurative investors have had a bumpy ride
More example sentences
  • Her Fridays usually didn't consist of power walks and bicycle rides, she says.
  • The pair, who used their two-week summer holiday for the journey, finished on time, despite a bumpy ride.
  • The trips listed here are typical of dinner sleigh rides you can find throughout the Rockies.
trip, journey, drive, run, expedition, excursion, outing, jaunt, tour, airing, turn, sally;
informal junket, spin, tootle, joyride, tool
Scottish informal hurl
1.1North American A person giving someone a lift in a vehicle: their ride into town had dropped them off near the bridge
More example sentences
  • After cleaning up and finding a ride into town, Seth and I didn't hesitate with spending most of the money on Tomas' credit card.
  • And, well, after Mysti talked to me, I kind of needed a ride to town so I could help.
  • If you stay here the night I can get you a ride into one of the border towns tomorrow morning.
1.2US informal A motor vehicle.
Example sentences
  • Still, for those with the means and the need for SUV speed with Porsche image, this might be the ride.
  • And nowadays, the marketplace wants dubs and shiny bling bling to spruce up otherwise unbearably ordinary rides.
  • For young consumers intent on immediately customizing their new rides, that extra money might turn into the most powerful incentive of all.
1.3The quality of comfort or smoothness offered by a vehicle while it is being driven: the ride is comfortable, though there is a slight roll when cornering
More example sentences
  • For a relatively affordable price, this vehicle offers a smooth ride and easy comfort.
  • Scenic II combines the spaciousness of an MPV with the ride and handling of a sedan.
  • The ride is made sportier by the combination of the bigger tires and slightly stiffer bushings, and steering is tightened up via a different steering gear.
1.4A path, typically one through woods, for horse riding.
Example sentences
  • On Sunday, the first evening of the ride, a Nez Perce chief will bless the trail ride.
  • Land formations and sightings of land, water and air creatures from 12 actual trail rides are documented in great detail.
1.5Canadian A demonstration of horse riding as an entertainment.
2A roller coaster, roundabout, or other amusement ridden at a fair or amusement park.
Example sentences
  • His effort with a toupee was equally unsuccessful when a ride at the local amusement park caused his wig to come undone - hair-raising experience indeed!
  • When I was a kid I loved the rides at amusements parks - the Zipper, the Swings, the Polar Express and even those cheesy haunted houses.
  • The 30-second ad has become so popular that there is serious talk of creating just such a ride at an amusement park in Florida.
3 vulgar slang An act of sexual intercourse.
3.1A sexual partner of a specified ability.
4 (also ride cymbal) A cymbal used for keeping up a continuous rhythm.
Example sentences
  • It suddenly takes an aggressive post-rock turn with the addition of a ride cymbal, drums, and scratching noises until poignant melody lines appear, played by what sounds like strings paired with woodwinds.
  • The producer ran 414s on the ride cymbal and hi-hat.
  • Soon after, a swing groove on the ride cymbal signals the starting point, with a Rhodes piano comping gently on top, followed quickly by angular horns and a vocal ensemble that sounds every bit the modern day Fifth Dimension.



be riding for a fall

see fall.

for the ride

Used to convey that someone is participating in activity for pleasure or as an observer only: she’s obviously just along for the ride
More example sentences
  • Sure, sometimes Stanwyck drove men to their doom, but she wanted to go along for the ride.
  • It's no good thinking they will come along for the ride out of curiosity - they have to be convinced.
  • I figure if a driver wants company to Flin Flon, why not go along for the ride?

let something ride

Take no immediate action over something: as far as I can find out, the police have let it ride for the moment
More example sentences
  • I felt proud of myself for letting it ride, but couldn't sleep anyway as it happens.
  • But I sometimes think that my ex and I managed to communicate ourselves right out of the relationship, so now I'm trying to teach myself to let things ride and not to scrutinize every little comment or gesture.
  • But as long as there's no damage to the car or any passenger, I let things ride.

ride the clutch

Partially depress the clutch pedal of a vehicle while driving.
Example sentences
  • Clonk it gently into first, ride the clutch against a stack of revs and away you go.
  • Avoid riding the clutch in traffic and rather than using the brakes try to lift off the accelerator early to reduce speed gradually.
  • Well, he'll see, and she'll see too: you thrust the stick into position, ride the clutch and ready a right foot over the gas.

ride herd on

North American Keep watch over: a man to ride herd on this frenetically paced enterprise
More example sentences
  • No one rode herd on all those people, forcing them to cooperate for your benefit.
  • Kamen is fairly interesting to watch as he cues in and rides herd on the Symphony throughout the track.
  • The fact that these parks and forests and animals belong to the citizens of this nation, just like the Smithsonian and the National Gallery, seems to elude both the politicians and the electorate that should be riding herd on them.

ride high

Be successful: the economy will be riding high on the top of the next boom
More example sentences
  • It was a close encounter against the second string of a very successful senior side riding high amongst the professional clubs.
  • Still riding high on the success of her Ray Of Light album, she made one of 1999's great singles in Beautiful Stranger.
  • By early August, Democrat hopes of success were riding high.

ride the pine (or bench)

North American informal (Of an athlete) sit on the sidelines rather than participate in a game or event: what really bugged him was riding the pine
More example sentences
  • A deeper team roster has been added for each squad, boosting the number of available players that ride the pine to twenty athletes.
  • As a result, the decision of who goes north with the big-league club, who rides the bench and who gets to ride the buses in the minors has become more complex.
  • He wound up riding the bench for the Crew in the U.S. Open Cup final when Mark Dougherty was sidelined with a knee injury.

ride the rods (or rails)

Canadian informal Ride on a freight train surreptitiously without paying.
Example sentences
  • I rode the rods till evening and I laid me down again.
  • One of the deans commented, ‘Now I know what it feels like to be a ticketless hobo riding the rods.’
  • This was an era of robber barons and child labor, hobos riding the rods.

ride roughshod over

Carry out one’s own plans or wishes with arrogant disregard for (someone or something): he rode roughshod over everyone else’s opinions
More example sentences
  • They are now putting out the view that management rode roughshod over the wishes of councillors but this couldn't be further from the truth.
  • We are furious that the council have passed this monstrosity because they are riding roughshod over the wishes of local residents.
  • This council has a habit of riding roughshod over the wishes of its residents, surely we do not expect this of the elected representative in Parliament.
treat with contempt, disregard, set at naught, trample over, show no consideration for, treat inconsiderately, treat disrespectfully, ignore, discount, encroach on, infringe, abuse, do violence to

—— rides again

Used to indicate that someone or something has reappeared unexpectedly and with new vigour.
Example sentences
  • Pittsburgh Tribune editorial columnist Dmitri Vassilaros takes note: ‘Genghis John rides again.’
  • ‘Sensuous’ Madonna rides again, with breathy vocals courtesy of Baby Doll Madonna.
  • The Spanish Inquisition rides again, coyotes call in the darkness, and, just for a little while, all is right with the world.

ride shotgun


ride to hounds

chiefly British Go fox-hunting on horseback.
Example sentences
  • But we do expect that if you cannot ride to hounds to hunt the fox, then the drag hunt in its present form is an acceptable alternative.
  • She hunts because she enjoys riding to hounds, not because she enjoys watching animals get killed.
  • The majority of activists who actually ride to hounds are relatively affluent members of society.

a rough (or easy) ride

A difficult (or easy) time doing something: the prime minister was given a rough ride by left-wing MPs yesterday rebel shareholders are expected to give officials a rough ride
More example sentences
  • Two different approaches from two very different managers, but it was easy to see why both have had a rough ride in their new jobs.
  • It was a rough ride, a tough time for all the contestants but we were having a ball on the boat and I wanted to finish off what I started.
  • It seemed to be only those supporting some form of change in the law who were given a rough ride.

take someone for a ride

informal Deceive or cheat someone: it’s not pleasant to find out you’ve been taken for a ride by someone you trusted
More example sentences
  • How do you make sure that you are not taken for a ride by the brokers?
  • Take the Hitler Diaries - we were taken for a ride with those.
  • There is a growing realisation that they were taken for a ride by the Congress.

Phrasal verbs


ride someone down

Trample or overtake someone while on horseback: a girl had to go to hospital after being ridden down
More example sentences
  • They ride us down with their horses, whip us, and people are always assaulted.
  • He is a unit in a line rushing on the enemy with the one idea of riding him down and transfixing him with his rigid saber, held at the position of charge saber.

ride on

Depend on: there is a great deal of money riding on the results of these studies
More example sentences
  • It wasn't like his life depended on it but there was a lot riding on this trip.
  • And for years it was true that our economy rode on the sheep's back.
  • So much rode on his store's success, and here it was bleeding money in big river of red.

ride something out

Come safely through a dangerous or difficult situation: the fleet had ridden out the storm
More example sentences
  • So here I am, riding it out, having been nearly in tears twice today, once over an advert on the tube and once because of something someone said.
  • We tell clients that you will get times like this and you have to ride them out.
  • But, you know, people think you can ride these things out.

ride up

(Of a garment) gradually work or move upwards out of its proper position: her skirt had ridden up
More example sentences
  • Are they watching, in the hope they see a girl driving a car with windows big enough that they can see her skirt riding up?
  • Her skirt was riding up, her voice began to tremble a little when I took that corner a little too sharply.
  • It is called Jeune Fille au Chat and shows a girl aged between 10 and 12 sitting back, hands behind head, and left foot raised on a stool while her skirt rides up to show the gusset of her pants.



(also ridable) adjective
Example sentences
  • There are some good tracks around the impressive dams of the Elan Valley (built in the 19th and 20th centuries to provide Birmingham with water) and over the surrounding moorlands, and most routes are rideable year-round.
  • And on those long-ago training runs, all of which were of more than 100 miles, his strict rule was that ‘all rideable hills will not be walked.’
  • Has anyone in the known or unknown universe bought one of these supremely useless, blisteringly overhyped, rideable vacuum cleaners?


Old English rīdan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rijden and German reiten.

  • A word related to road, from a time when horses were the usual means of transport. When people in Yorkshire refer to the East Riding, North Riding, or West Riding they are not making any reference to horses. The word for each of the county's three former administrative divisions goes back to Old Norse thrithjungr ‘third part’, from thrithi ‘third’. Over the years the initial ‘th’ was lost, so that the east, north or west ‘third part’ of the county became a riding. A person who behaves in a reckless or arrogant way that invites defeat or failure is sometimes said to ride for a fall. The phrase comes from 19th-century descriptions of hunters riding in a way likely to lead to an accident. To ride herd on someone is to keep watch over them. This North American expression comes from the idea of cowboys guarding or controlling a herd of cattle by riding round its edge. People who achieve a happy conclusion may be said to ride off into the sunset, a reference to the traditional closing scene of a Western, when the main characters ride off towards the setting sun after everything has been satisfactorily resolved. The proverb he who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount, meaning that once a dangerous or troublesome venture is begun the safest course is to carry it through to the end, is recorded from the 19th century. Winston Churchill used it with ominous effect in 1937: ‘Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.’

Words that rhyme with ride

abide, applied, aside, astride, backslide, beside, bestride, betide, bide, bride, chide, Clyde, cockeyed, coincide, collide, confide, cried, decide, divide, dried, elide, five-a-side, glide, guide, hide, hollow-eyed, I'd, implied, lied, misguide, nationwide, nide, offside, onside, outride, outside, pan-fried, pied, pie-eyed, pitch-side, popeyed, pride, provide, Said, shied, side, slide, sloe-eyed, snide, square-eyed, starry-eyed, statewide, Strathclyde, stride, subdivide, subside, tide, tried, undyed, wall-eyed, wide, worldwide

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ride

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