rescue

verb
res·​cue | \ ˈre-(ˌ)skyü How to pronounce rescue (audio) \
rescued; rescuing

Definition of rescue

transitive verb

: to free from confinement, danger, or evil : save, deliver They were rescued from the burning building by firefighters. … a volunteer group that rescues and nurtures injured and orphaned wildlife …Australian Geographic(figurative) … the acanthus leaf into which the light fixture on the hall ceiling is set was rescued from a curbside trash heap.— Barbara Deane : such as
a : to take (someone, such as a prisoner) forcibly from custody
b : to recover (something, such as a prize) by force
c : to deliver (a place under siege) by armed force

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rescue

rescuable \ ˈre-​(ˌ)skyü-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce rescuable (audio) \ adjective
rescue noun
Historians are wary of the notion that, at a critical point in history, a heroic figure, galloping to the rescue, snatches victory from the jaws of defeat … — James MacGregor Burns
rescuer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of rescue in a Sentence

The survivors were rescued by the Coast Guard. an all-out effort to rescue a beached whale
Recent Examples on the Web Of those animals, 1 in 3 of the world’s koalas were estimated to have been killed in the flames, prompting a massive effort to rescue the critters from the burning Outback. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "WATCH: American firefighters welcomed with standing ovation in Australia," 9 Jan. 2020 The rest were hoping to be rescued by military helicopter. NBC News, "Australian crews race to contain blazes ahead of heat wave later this week," 7 Jan. 2020 Many organizations are working to rescue and rehabilitate animals caught in the blazes. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "Australia's devastating fires are still burning. Here's how you can help," 7 Jan. 2020 Going on a quest to rescue a princess for an evil lord is ok. Raisa Bruner, Time, "No One Understands the Hectic Things You Do With Your Life Like the 'Whatever You Need to Do to Cope' Meme," 6 Jan. 2020 About 900 crew survived the initial sinking, but just over 300 survived long enough to be rescued on Aug. 2, 1945. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Don Howison, the oldest remaining survivor of USS Indianapolis, dead at 98," 6 Jan. 2020 Two other navy ships, stationed near the town of Mallacoota in Victoria state, attempted to rescue 1,100 more people Saturday. ... David Winning, WSJ, "Australia Calls Out More Troops as Fire Crisis Escalates," 4 Jan. 2020 The scramble to rescue Resilard and Smith had been painfully problematic. Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, "Faulty Equipment, Lapsed Training, Repeated Warnings: How a Preventable Disaster Killed Six Marines," 2 Jan. 2020 First Stage revives John Glore's adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's classic science fantasy novel about a girl who travels through time and space to rescue her father. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "20 enticing Milwaukee concerts and shows in early 2020," 2 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rescue.' 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 rescue

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rescue

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rescue

Time Traveler for rescue

Time Traveler

The first known use of rescue was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for rescue

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rescue.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rescue. Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rescue

rescue

verb
How to pronounce rescue (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rescue

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

rescue

verb
res·​cue | \ ˈre-skyü How to pronounce rescue (audio) \
rescued; rescuing

Kids Definition of rescue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from rescue

rescuer noun

rescue

noun

Kids Definition of rescue (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of freeing someone or something from danger

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rescue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rescue

Spanish Central: Translation of rescue

Nglish: Translation of rescue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rescue for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rescue

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

out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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