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

rescue

play
verb res·cue \ˈres-(ˌ)kyü\

Simple Definition of rescue

  • : to save (someone or something) from danger or harm

Full Definition of rescue

res·cuedres·cu·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to free from confinement, danger, or evil :  save, deliver: as a :  to take (as a prisoner) forcibly from custody b :  to recover (as a prize) by force c :  to deliver (as a place under siege) by armed force

res·cu·able play \-ə-bəl\ adjective
rescue noun
res·cu·er noun

Examples of rescue

  1. The survivors were rescued by the Coast Guard.

  2. <an all-out effort to rescue a beached whale>



Origin of rescue

Middle English rescouen, rescuen, from Anglo-French rescure, from re- + escure to shake off, from Latin excutere, from ex- + quatere to shake


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of rescue

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>.


RESCUE Defined for Kids

1

rescue

play
verb res·cue \ˈre-skyü\

Definition of rescue

res·cuedres·cu·ing

  1. :  to free from danger :  save <The family's dog was rescued from the fire.>

res·cu·er noun


Headscratcher for rescue

Rescue and secure have the same letters and have related meanings. To rescue someone is to make them safe and secure from harm.


2

rescue

play
noun res·cue

Definition of rescue

  1. :  an act of freeing someone or something from danger





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ