noun ran·som \ˈran(t)-səm\

: money that is paid in order to free someone who has been captured or kidnapped

Full Definition of RANSOM

:  a consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or something from captivity
:  the act of ransoming

Examples of RANSOM

  1. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of one million dollars.
  2. The family is willing to pay ransom for his release.
  3. The ransom note explained the terms under which she would be released.

Origin of RANSOM

Middle English ransoun, from Anglo-French rançun, from Latin redemption-, redemptio — more at redemption
First Known Use: 13th century



: to pay money in order to free (a person who has been captured or kidnapped)

Full Definition of RANSOM

transitive verb
:  to deliver especially from sin or its penalty
:  to free from captivity or punishment by paying a price
ran·som·er noun

Examples of RANSOM

  1. He was held captive for a week before he was ransomed and returned to his family.
  2. <the prince emptied the treasury to ransom his son from the kidnappers>

First Known Use of RANSOM

14th century

Related to RANSOM


biographical name Ran·som \ˈran(t)-səm\

Definition of RANSOM

John Crowe 1888–1974 Am. educ. & poet


Next Word in the Dictionary: ransomablePrevious Word in the Dictionary: ranselAll Words Near: ransom
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