[ ran-suhm ]
/ ˈræn səm /


the redemption of a prisoner, slave, or kidnapped person, of captured goods, etc., for a price.
the sum or price paid or demanded.
a means of deliverance or rescue from punishment for sin, especially the payment of a redemptive fine.

verb (used with object)

to redeem from captivity, bondage, detention, etc., by paying a demanded price.
to release or restore on receipt of a ransom.
to deliver or redeem from punishment for sin.

Nearby words

  1. rankism,
  2. rankle,
  3. rankly,
  4. rankshift,
  5. ransack,
  6. ransom, john crowe,
  7. ransome,
  8. ransomware,
  9. rant,
  10. rant and rave

Origin of ransom

1150–1200; (noun) Middle English ransoun < Old French rançon < Late Latin redēmptiōn- (stem of redēmptiō) redemption; (v.) Middle English ransounen < Old French rançonner, derivative of rançon

Related formsran·som·er, nounun·ran·somed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ransomer

British Dictionary definitions for ransomer


/ (ˈrænsəm) /


verb (tr)

Derived Formsransomer, noun

Word Origin for ransom

C14: from Old French ransoun, from Latin redemptiō a buying back, redemption


/ (ˈrænsəm) /


John Crowe . 1888–1974, US poet and critic
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

Word Origin and History for ransomer
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with ransomer


see king's ransom.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.