Definitions for: Ransom

[n] the act of freeing from captivity or punishment
[n] payment for the release of someone
[n] money demanded for the return of a captured person
[v] exchange or buy back for money; under threat

Webster (1913) Definition: Ran"som, n. [OE. raunson, raunsoun, OF. ran[,c]on,
raen[,c]on, raan[,c]on, F. ran[,c]on, fr. L. redemptio, fr.
redimere to redeem. See Redeem, and cf. Redemption.]
1. The release of a captive, or of 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.

His captivity in Austria, and the heavy ransom he
paid for his liberty. --Sir J.

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, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ransomed; p. pr. & vb.
n. Ransoming.] [Cf. F. ran[,c]onner. See Ransom, n.]
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.

Synonyms: ransom money, redeem

See Also: change, cost, defrayal, defrayment, exchange, interchange, payment, recovery, retrieval

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