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[ri-deem] /rɪˈdim/
verb (used with object)
to buy or pay off; clear by payment:
to redeem a mortgage.
to buy back, as after a tax sale or a mortgage foreclosure.
to recover (something pledged or mortgaged) by payment or other satisfaction:
to redeem a pawned watch.
to exchange (bonds, trading stamps, etc.) for money or goods.
to convert (paper money) into specie.
to discharge or fulfill (a pledge, promise, etc.).
to make up for; make amends for; offset (some fault, shortcoming, etc.):
His bravery redeemed his youthful idleness.
to obtain the release or restoration of, as from captivity, by paying a ransom.
Theology. to deliver from sin and its consequences by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner.
Origin of redeem
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English redemen < Middle French redimer < Latin redimere, equivalent to red- red- + -imere, combining form of emere to purchase (cf. emptor, ransom)
Related forms
preredeem, verb (used with object)
unredeemed, adjective
1–3. repurchase. Redeem, ransom both mean to buy back. Redeem is wider in its application than ransom, and means to buy back, regain possession of, or exchange for money, goods, etc.: to redeem one's property. To ransom is to redeem a person from captivity by paying a stipulated price, or to redeem from sin by sacrifice: to ransom a kidnapped child. 8, 9. free, liberate, rescue, save.
1. abandon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for redeemed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Exchange your money into men; purified, uplifted, redeemed men.

    Quiet Talks on Service S. D. Gordon
  • But this certainly was a disqualification never to be redeemed.

    Mary, Mary James Stephens
  • But what was it that made this inheritance more pleasing to God than any of the other souls which He had redeemed?

    Ortus Christi Mother St. Paul
  • It shows that the redeemed spirit has sailed from earth to the haven of rest.

  • These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

    The Christian Year John Keble
British Dictionary definitions for redeemed


verb (transitive)
to recover possession or ownership of by payment of a price or service; regain
to convert (bonds, shares, etc) into cash
to pay off (a promissory note, loan, etc)
to recover (something pledged, mortgaged, or pawned)
to convert (paper money) into bullion or specie
to fulfil (a promise, pledge, etc)
to exchange (trading stamps, coupons, etc) for goods
to reinstate in someone's estimation or good opinion; restore to favour: he redeemed himself by his altruistic action
to make amends for
to recover from captivity, esp by a money payment
(Christianity) (of Christ as Saviour) to free (mankind) from sin by his death on the Cross
Derived Forms
redeemer, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French redimer, from Latin redimere to buy back, from red-re- + emere to buy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for redeemed



early 15c., "buy back, ransom," from Middle French redemer "buy back," from Latin redimere (see redemption). Theological sense of "deliver from sin and spiritual death" is from c.1500. Meaning "make amends for" is from 1520s. Sense of "make good" (a promise, obligation, etc.) is from 1840. Related: Redeemed; redeeming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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