noun American History.
  1. an emigrant from Europe to America who obtained passage by becoming an indentured servant for a specified period of time.

Origin of redemptioner

First recorded in 1765–75; redemption + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for redemptioner

Historical Examples of redemptioner

  • That's Black Jim Lewis, that stole me away from home and sold me for a redemptioner.


    Edward Eggleston

  • Mr. Quimby bought him at the wharf out of a redemptioner ship.

    Pencil Sketches

    Eliza Leslie

  • Overdursh,--, Dutch redemptioner bought with his family, 167.

    George Washington: Farmer

    Paul Leland Haworth

  • This proprietor, who is now so wealthy, came over a redemptioner, and owes his present wealth to his industry and frugality.

    Travels Through North America, v. 1-2

    Berhard Saxe-Weimar Eisenach

  • The Sot-Weed Factor gives a much less rose-colored account of the life of a redemptioner.

    The Colonial Cavalier

    Maud Wilder Goodwin

British Dictionary definitions for redemptioner


  1. history an emigrant to Colonial America who paid for his passage by becoming an indentured servant
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 redemptioner

"indentured servant," 1775, from redemption + -er (1).

REDEMPTIONER. One who redeems himself or purchases his release from debt or obligation to the master of a ship by his services; or one whose services are sold to pay the expenses of his passage to America. [Webster, 1830]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper