A good quality or aspect that makes up for other drawbacks, as in The house isn't very attractive, but the garden is the redeeming feature. This idiom, first recorded in 1827, uses redeem in the sense of “compensate.”
We Can Thank Alexander Hamilton For Giving Us These WordsSince Lin Manuel Miranda turned Hamilton from a mysterious face on our $10 bill to a household name, the impact this "bastard orphan" had on our modern lives has become increasingly apparent. Case in point: Many of the words and phrases used on a daily basis in America are thought to have originated with everyone's favorite "ten dollar founding father."
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.