• The release of a captive, or of captured property, by payment of a consideration.
  • Money paid for the freeing of a hostage.

    "They were held to ransom."

  • "They were held for two million dollars ransom."

  • (historical, law, Britain) A sum paid for the pardon of some great offence and the discharge of the offender; also, a fine paid in lieu of corporal punishment.


  • To pay a price to set someone free from captivity or punishment.

    "to ransom prisoners from an enemy"

  • (14th century) To deliver, especially in context of sin or relevant penalties.
  • To exact a ransom for, or a payment on.

    "Such lands as he had rule of he ransomed them so grievously, and would tax the men two or three times in a year. — Berners."

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