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

On July 9, 1960, 7-year-old Roger Woodward was rescued after going over Horseshoe Falls in only a life jacket following a boating accident on the upper portion of the river. Allyson Chiu, BostonGlobe.com, "A man was swept over the largest waterfall at Niagara Falls, police say. He survived.," 10 July 2019 On July 9, 1960, 7-year-old Roger Woodward was rescued after going over Horseshoe Falls in only a life jacket following a boating accident on the upper portion of the river. Allyson Chiu, Anchorage Daily News, "A man was swept over Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls, police say. He survived.," 10 July 2019 Four people, including two children, were rescued from the Pacific Ocean after a rip current pulled the kids out to sea Monday in Rockaway Beach, according to a report. oregonlive.com, "4 rescued after Rockaway Beach rip current pulls kids out to sea," 10 July 2019 His 17-year-old sister, Deanne, was rescued at the brink of the falls. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Man Survives with Non-Life Threatening Injuries After Being Swept Over Niagara Falls," 9 July 2019 Firefighters quickly rescued one person from a balcony on the third floor. Fox News, "Nashville apartment fire kills baby, injures 5 children, firefighters say," 8 July 2019 The migrants were rescued from a rubber dinghy Thursday off Libya. Washington Post, "The Latest: Rights chief urges Europe to rescue migrants," 6 July 2019 Firefighters rescued three of the occupants and the fourth got out on his own. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Woman dies; 2 occupants, 2 firefighters hurt in Sterling Heights house fire," 3 July 2019 Lee Iacocca, who created the iconic Ford Mustang and later in his career rescued Chrysler from bankruptcy, has died, his foundation and Ford Motor Company confirmed on Tuesday. CBS News, "Lee Iacocca, creator of Ford Mustang and former CEO of Chrysler, has died at 94," 3 July 2019

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

Statistics for rescue

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rescue

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rescue

rescue

verb

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

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!