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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)

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

re·deem·able play \-ˈdē-mə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of redeem

  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 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>.

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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