- Ransom is defined as the act of holding someone or something hostage in order to get a demand met, or the money paid to get the item or person back.
An example of ransom is the money paid to a kidnapper to get a kidnapped child back.
- To ransom is to obtain the release of someone or something that has been held hostage by paying a price.
An example of ransom is to regain custody of a child from a kidnapper by paying the money which the kidnapper has been demanding for the child's release.
- the redeeming or release of a captive or of seized property by paying money or complying with other demands
- the price thus paid or demanded
- deliverance from sin; redemption
Origin of ransomMiddle English raunson ; from Old French raençon ; from Classical Latin redemptio, redemption
- to obtain the release of (a captive or property) by paying the demanded price
- Now Rare to release after such payment
- to deliver from sin; redeem
- a. The release of property or a person in return for payment of a demanded price.b. The price or payment demanded or paid for such release.
- Christianity A redemption from sin and its consequences.
transitive verbran·somed, ran·som·ing, ran·soms
- a. To obtain the release of by paying a certain price.b. To release after receiving such a payment.
- Christianity To deliver from sin and its consequences.
Origin of ransomMiddle English ransome, from Old French rançon, from Latin redēmptiō, redēmptiōn-, a buying back; see redemption.
(usually uncountable, plural ransoms)
- Money paid for the freeing of a hostage.
- They were held for two million dollars ransom.
- They were held to ransom.
- The release of a captive, or of captured property, by payment of a consideration.
- prisoners hopeless of ransom
- (historical, law, UK) A sum paid for the pardon of some great offence and the discharge of the offender; also, a fine paid in lieu of corporal punishment.
(third-person singular simple present ransoms, present participle ransoming, simple past and past participle ransomed)
- (14th century) To deliver, especially in context of sin or relevant penalties.
- To pay a price to set someone free from captivity or punishment.
- to ransom prisoners from an enemy
- To exact a ransom for, or a payment on.
- Such lands as he had rule of he ransomed them so grievously, and would tax the men two or three times in a year. — Berners.
ransom - Legal Definition