re·​deem | \ri-ˈdēm \
redeemed; redeeming; redeems

Definition of redeem 

transitive verb

1a : to buy back : repurchase

b : to get or win back

2 : to free from what distresses or harms: such 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

3 : to change for the better : reform

5a : to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby

b(1) : to remove the obligation of by payment the U.S. Treasury redeems savings bonds on demand

(2) : to exchange for something of value redeem trading stamps

c : to make good : fulfill

6a : to atone for : expiate redeem an error

b(1) : to offset the bad effect of

(2) : to make worthwhile : retrieve

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from redeem

redeemable \ri-​ˈdē-​mə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for redeem


answer, complete, comply (with), fill, fulfill (or fulfil), keep, meet, satisfy


breach, break, transgress, violate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of redeem in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Rewards cards and coupons may be redeemed online, the sign stated. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Going-out-of-business sales start Friday at Boston Store, Younkers and other Bon-Ton stores," 19 Apr. 2018 The $5 Cruise Night Wrist Bands can be redeemed for 10 percent discounts off select merchandise at about 60 participating businesses in town during Cruise Nights. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Leroy Clubb turns Cruise Night into senior center fundraiser," 18 Apr. 2018 To start, the currency can be redeemed for talk-time and data. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "How Refugees Are Helping Create Blockchain's Brand New World," 14 Mar. 2018 Are there any redeeming things about working in fashion? Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Dark Comedy in the Fashion World," 27 Aug. 2018 The only redeeming part of our match was that the tennis club sold beer. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "Tennis Seems Like the Perfect Couple’s Sport, So We Learned How to Play," 5 Aug. 2018 Messi had a final chance to redeem his team with the final kick of the game, but his free kick from 25 yards failed to clear a solid defensive wall. Graham Dunbar, Houston Chronicle, "Lionel Messi misses penalty kick, Iceland holds Argentina to 1-1 draw," 16 June 2018 Washington has a chance to redeem itself for getting swept by the Red Wings in 1998 and not returning to the finals for the following two decades, while Vegas could achieve something no team ever has and end its fairy-tale season on top. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "A reminder that a 3-1 series lead guarantees nothing, especially for the Washington Capitals," 6 June 2018 Complimentary drink tickets can be redeemed only in the sportsbook. Ed Barkowitz,, "Comparing the sportsbooks at Atlantic City's Borgata and Ocean Resort ahead of the World Cup final," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'redeem.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of redeem

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about redeem

Statistics for redeem

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for redeem

The first known use of redeem was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for redeem



English Language Learners 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)


re·​deem | \ri-ˈdēm \

Kids Definition of redeem

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

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

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

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

5 : to free from sin

Other Words from redeem

redeemer noun
re·​deem | \ri-ˈdēm \

Legal Definition of redeem 

1a : repurchase

b : to repurchase by right and not on the open market redeem preferred shares

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 foreclosureBowery 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

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

3a : to present and have redeemed

b : to exchange for something of value

intransitive verb

: to redeem something (as real property) failed to exercise its equity of redemption, and this part of the right to redeem was therefore cut offHausman v. Dayton, 653 N.E.2d 1190 (1995)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on redeem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with redeem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for redeem

Spanish Central: Translation of redeem

Nglish: Translation of redeem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of redeem for Arabic Speakers

Comments on redeem

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


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!