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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Terrible things are done to bears in this gruesomely gorgeous debut novel about an imperfect hero who redeems himself by taking up the cause of these noble, if terrifying, beasts. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Bears and Poets: Endangered Prey in This Week’s Crime Column," 22 June 2018 With 9 days left to Russia 2018, 90 Minutes introduces South Korea, led by Son Heung-Min on a quest to redeem themselves from a disappointing 2014 World Cup in Brazil. John Duerden,, "World Cup Coutdown: Son to lead South Korea redemption after 2014 shortcomings," 5 June 2018 With their various platforms in place, SNAP benefits redeemed at farmers markets increased by 35 percent, to $22.4 million in 2017 from $16.5 million in 2012, meaning more fresh produce for low-income people in both rural areas and cities. Jane Black And Leah Douglas,, "Some food stamp recipients may soon lose access to farmers market benefits," 12 July 2018 Nearly 1,000 recycling centers have closed in the last two years, about 40% of the total, leaving consumers in many communities with no local place to leave their bottles and redeem their nickels. George Skelton,, "Environmentally minded Californians love to recycle — but it's no longer doing any good," 9 July 2018 So thankful for God’s redeeming grace and His blessings to us along the way, especially our 5 M’s! Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Anna Duggar says 'past 10 years' with husband Josh Duggar 'have been a wonderful adventure'," 6 July 2018 The final play is an inspiring tale of people working together to try to redeem the past and re-chart the future. Daryl H. Miller,, "'The Ballad of Bimini Baths' plunges into L.A. history," 15 June 2018 Last year was a blissful kind of thing — everybody just kind of coming together and kind of riding a wave of Kevin coming aboard and trying to redeem the loss of the championship before. Marc Stein, New York Times, "The Golden State Warriors Know Dynasties Aren’t Easy," 10 June 2018 Upon his early release, Mr. Morton sought to redeem himself, but the path was rocky. Jessica Donati, WSJ, "NYPD Analyst Hunted al Qaeda Recruiter for Years. Now They’re a Team.," 27 Apr. 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.

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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

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Phrases Related to redeem

redeem oneself

Statistics for redeem

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for redeem

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

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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)

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Comments on redeem

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a state of commotion or excitement

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