Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

redeem

play
verb re·deem \ri-ˈdēm\

Simple Definition of redeem

  • : to make (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) better or more acceptable

  • : to exchange (something, such as a coupon or lottery ticket) for money, an award, etc.

  • : to buy back (something, such as a stock or bond)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of redeem

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to buy back :  repurchase b :  to get or win back

  3. 2 :  to free from what distresses or harms: as a :  to free from captivity by payment of ransom b :  to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental c :  to release from blame or debt :  clear d :  to free from the consequences of sin

  4. 3 :  to change for the better :  reform

  5. 4 :  repair, restore

  6. 5 a :  to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby b (1) :  to remove the obligation of by payment <the United States Treasury redeems savings bonds on demand> (2) :  to exchange for something of value <redeem trading stamps> c :  to make good :  fulfill

  7. 6 a :  to atone for :  expiate <redeem an error> b (1) :  to offset the bad effect of (2) :  to make worthwhile :  retrieve

redeemable

play \-ˈdē-mə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of redeem in a sentence

  1. Nearly 115 million Americans clip coupons and redeem them at some point during the year. —David J. Morrow, New York Times, 17 Mar. 1996

  2. … nor does the book try to justify whatever is reckless about it by claiming some redeeming social or political value. —Philip Roth, Reading Myself and Others, 1975

  3. She had once told Rowland that she would show him, some day, how gracious her manners could be; she was now redeeming her promise. —Henry James, Roderick Hudson, 1875

  4. We had, however, redeemed … the character of our country, by showing that there was at any rate a body of persons determined to use all the means which the law afforded to obtain justice for the injured. —John Stuart Mill, Autobiography, 1874

  5. Their temporal dominion is now confirmed by the reverence of a thousand years; and their noblest title is the free choice of a people, whom they had redeemed from slavery. —Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1788

  6. The exciting ending partially redeems what is otherwise a very dull movie.

  7. He wants to redeem his reputation.

  8. You can redeem this coupon at any store.

  9. You have 90 days to redeem your winning lottery ticket.

  10. This voucher can be redeemed for a free meal at several local restaurants.

  11. The government will pay you interest when it redeems the bonds you bought.

  12. The company redeemed some of its stock.



Origin and Etymology of redeem

Middle English redemen, from Anglo-French redemer, modification of Latin redimere, from re-, red- re- + emere to take, buy; akin to Lithuanian imti to take


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of redeem

rescue, deliver, redeem, ransom, reclaim, save mean to set free from confinement or danger. rescue implies freeing from imminent danger by prompt or vigorous action <rescued the crew of a sinking ship>. deliver implies release usually of a person from confinement, temptation, slavery, or suffering <delivered his people from bondage>. redeem implies releasing from bondage or penalties by giving what is demanded or necessary <job training designed to redeem school dropouts from chronic unemployment>. ransom specifically applies to buying out of captivity <tried to ransom the kidnap victim>. reclaim suggests a bringing back to a former state or condition of someone or something abandoned or debased <reclaimed long-abandoned farms>. save may replace any of the foregoing terms; it may further imply a preserving or maintaining for usefulness or continued existence <an operation that saved my life>.


REDEEM Defined for Kids

redeem

play
verb re·deem \ri-ˈdēm\

Definition of redeem for Students

  1. 1 :  to make up for <The exciting ending redeemed the otherwise dull movie.>

  2. 2 :  to buy, get, or win back <He redeemed his honor.>

  3. 3 :  to make good :  fulfill <You must redeem your promise.>

  4. 4 :  to exchange for something of value <I redeemed my tickets for a prize.>

  5. 5 :  to free from sin

redeemer

noun



Law Dictionary

redeem

play
transitive verb re·deem \ri-ˈdēm\

Legal Definition of redeem

  1. 1a :  repurchase b :  to repurchase by right and not on the open market <redeem preferred shares>

  2. 2a :  to free from a lien or pledge usually by payment of the amount secured thereby <redeem collateral> b :  to exercise an equity of redemption in (real property) by payment in full of a mortgage debt after default but prior to a foreclosure becoming effective <a right to redeem property prior to the actual sale under a judgment of foreclosure — Bowery Sav. Bank v. Harbert Offset Corp., 558 N.Y.S.2d 821 (1990)> — see also equity of redemption c :  to exercise a right of redemption in (real property) within the period set by law by a repurchase that voids the effect of foreclosure or sale — see also right of redemption Editor's note: A mortgagor with a right of redemption might redeem property within the set period following a foreclosure sale by paying the new purchaser the purchase price, interest, taxes, and lawful charges. d :  to remove the obligation of by payment (as at maturity) <redeem a bond>

  3. 3a :  to present and have redeemed b :  to exchange for something of value

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to redeem something (as real property) <failed to exercise its equity of redemption, and this part of the right to redeem was therefore cut off — Hausman v. Dayton, 653 N.E.2d 1190 (1995)>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up redeem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a representation of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

melancholy philistine frenetic lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ