verb re·deem \ri-ˈdēm\

: 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)

Full Definition of REDEEM

transitive verb
a :  to buy back :  repurchase
b :  to get or win back
:  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
:  to change for the better :  reform
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
a :  to atone for :  expiate <redeem an error>
b (1) :  to offset the bad effect of
(2) :  to make worthwhile :  retrieve
re·deem·able \-ˈdē-mə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of REDEEM

  1. The exciting ending partially redeems what is otherwise a very dull movie.
  2. He wants to redeem his reputation.
  3. You can redeem this coupon at any store.
  4. You have 90 days to redeem your winning lottery ticket.
  5. This voucher can be redeemed for a free meal at several local restaurants.
  6. The government will pay you interest when it redeems the bonds you bought.
  7. The company redeemed some of its stock.
  8. Nearly 115 million Americans clip coupons and redeem them at some point during the year. —David J. Morrow, New York Times, 17 Mar. 1996

Origin 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


verb re·deem \ri-ˈdēm\

Definition of REDEEM for Kids

:  to make up for <The exciting ending redeemed the otherwise dull movie.>
:  to buy, get, or win back <He redeemed his honor.>
:  to make good :  fulfill <You must redeem your promise.>
:  to exchange for something of value <I redeemed my tickets for a prize.>
:  to free from sin
re·deem·er noun


Next Word in the Dictionary: redeemabilityPrevious Word in the Dictionary: redecussateAll Words Near: redeem
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears