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Webster 1913 Edition


Ransom

Ran′som

(răn′sŭm)
,
Noun.
[OE.
raunson
,
raunsoun
, OF.
rançon
,
raençon
,
raançon
, F.
rançon
, fr. L.
redemptio
, fr.
redimere
to redeem. See
Redeem
, and cf.
Redemption
.]
1.
The release of a captive, or of captured property, by payment of a consideration; redemption;
as, prisoners hopeless of
ransom
.
Dryden.
2.
The money or price paid for the redemption of a prisoner, or for goods captured by an enemy; payment for freedom from restraint, penalty, or forfeit.
Thy
ransom
paid, which man from death redeems.
Milton.
His captivity in Austria, and the heavy
ransom
he paid for his liberty.
Sir J. Davies.
3.
(O. Eng. Law)
A sum paid for the pardon of some great offense and the discharge of the offender; also, a fine paid in lieu of corporal punishment.
Blackstone.
Ransom bill
(Law)
,
a war contract, valid by the law of nations, for the ransom of property captured at sea and its safe conduct into port.
Kent.

Ran′som

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Ransomed
(-sŭmd)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Ransoming
.]
[Cf. F.
rançonner
. See
Ransom
,
Noun.
]
1.
To redeem from captivity, servitude, punishment, or forfeit, by paying a price; to buy out of servitude or penalty; to rescue; to deliver;
as, to
ransom
prisoners from an enemy
.
2.
To exact a ransom for, or a payment on.
[R.]
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.

Webster 1828 Edition


Ransom

RAN'SOM

, n.
1.
The money or price paid for the redemption of a prisoner or slave, or for goods captured by an enemy; that which procures the release of a prisoner or captive, or of captured property, and restores the one to liberty and the other to the original owner.
By his captivity in Austria, and the heavy ransom he paid for his liberty, Richard was hindered from pursuing the conquest of Ireland.
2.
Release from captivity, bondage or the possession of an enemy. They were unable to procure the ransom of the prisoners.
3.
In law, a sum paid for the pardon of some great offense and the discharge of the offender; or a fine paid in lieu of corporal punishment.
4.
In Scripture, the price paid for a forfeited life, or for delivery or release from capital punishment.
Then he shall give for the ransom of his life, whatever is laid upon him. Ex. 21.
5.
The price paid for procuring the pardon of sins and the redemption of the sinner from punishment.
Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom. Job. 33.
The Son of man came - to give his life a ransom for many. Matt. 20. Mark 10.

RAN'SOM

, v.t.
1.
To redeem from captivity or punishment by paying an equivalent; applied to persons; as, to ransom prisoners from an enemy.
2.
To redeem from the possession of an enemy by paying a price deemed equivalent; applied to goods or property.
3.
In Scripture, to redeem from the bondage of sin, and from the punishment to which sinners are subjected by the divine law.
The ransomed of the Lord shall return. Is. 35.
4.
To rescue; to deliver. Hos. 13.

Definition 2022


ransom

ransom

English

Noun

ransom (usually uncountable, plural ransoms)

  1. Money paid for the freeing of a hostage.
    They were held for two million dollars ransom.
    They were held to ransom.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book XII:
      Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems.
    • Sir J. Davies
      His captivity in Austria, and the heavy ransom he paid for his liberty.
    • 2010, Caroline Alexander, The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad:
      As rich as was the ransom Priam paid for Hektor, Hermes says, his remaining sons at Troy “'would give three times as much ransom / for you, who are alive, were Atreus' son Agamemnon / to recognize you.'”
  2. The release of a captive, or of captured property, by payment of a consideration.
    prisoners hopeless of ransom
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  3. (historical, law, Britain) 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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Blackstone to this entry?)

Usage notes

  • For is much more common in the US, to in the UK.

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

ransom (third-person singular simple present ransoms, present participle ransoming, simple past and past participle ransomed)

  1. (14th century) To deliver, especially in context of sin or relevant penalties.
  2. To pay a price to set someone free from captivity or punishment.
    to ransom prisoners from an enemy
  3. 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.

Translations

See also

References

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary: Tenth Edition 1997

Anagrams