• WordNet 3.6
    • v ransom exchange or buy back for money; under threat
    • n ransom the act of freeing from captivity or punishment
    • n ransom payment for the release of someone
    • n ransom money demanded for the return of a captured person
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 410 A.D. Alaric the Visigoth demanded that Rome give him three thousand pounds of pepper as ransom
    • Ransom (O. Eng. Law) A sum paid for the pardon of some great offense and the discharge of the offender; also, a fine paid in lieu of corporal punishment.
    • Ransom The money or price paid for the redemption of a prisoner, or for goods captured by an enemy; payment for freedom from restraint, penalty, or forfeit. "Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems.""His captivity in Austria, and the heavy ransom he paid for his liberty."
    • Ransom The release of a captive, or of captured property, by payment of a consideration; redemption; as, prisoners hopeless of ransom .
    • Ransom 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."
    • Ransom To redeem from captivity, servitude, punishment, or forfeit, by paying a price; to buy out of servitude or penalty; to rescue; to deliver; as, to ransom prisoners from an enemy.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The power lawn mower was invented by Ransom E. Olds (of Oldsmobile fame) in 1915.
    • n ransom Redemption for a price; a holding for redemption; also, release from captivity, bondage, or the possession of an enemy for a consideration; liberation on payment or satisfaction of the price demanded.
    • n ransom The money or price awarded or paid for the redemption of a prisoner, captive, or slave, or for goods captured by an enemy; payment for liberation from restraint, penalty, or punishment.
    • n ransom Atonement; expiation.
    • ransom To redeem from captivity, bondage, forfeit, or punishment by paying or giving in return that which is demanded; buy out of servitude; buy off from penalty.
    • ransom To redeem; rescue; deliver.
    • ransom To hold at ransom; demand or accept a ransom for; exact payment on.
    • ransom To set free for a price; give up the custody of on receipt of a consideration.
    • ransom To atone for; expiate.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ransom ran′sum price paid for redemption from captivity or punishment: release from captivity: atonement: expiation
    • v.t Ransom to redeem from captivity, punishment, or ownership: :
    • v.t Ransom (Shak.) to set free for a price
    • v.t Ransom (Shak.) to expiate
    • ***


  • H. L. Mencken
    “Alimony -- the ransom that the happy pay to the devil.”


King's ransom - If something costs or is worth a king's ransom, it costs or is worth a lot of money.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. raunson, raunsoun, OF. rançon, raençon, raançon, F. rançon, fr. L. redemptio, fr. redimere, to redeem. See Redeem, and cf. Redemption


In literature:

He signified that we might ransom Leo with them if he was detained as a prisoner.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
They took him to Detroit; the ransom was paid, and Kenton became the prisoner of the British officers, instead of the savage chieftains.
"Daniel Boone" by John S. C. Abbott
I do wonder who she can be, and there she's taking that Elma Ransom under her wing.
"The Girls at Mount Morris" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
A Frenchman bought her from the Indians, and she was finally ransomed by her husband.
"A Half Century of Conflict - Volume I" by Francis Parkman
He had stolen somebody's purse and was holding it in his hands waiting for it to be ransomed.
"Kari the Elephant" by Dhan Gopal Mukerji
But the sheik of Arabs aspects wished to possess him, with a view to his ultimate ransom.
"The Boy Slaves" by Mayne Reid
Cooped up and caged then shall the Lion be, But, after sufferance, ransomed and set free.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
He would have to catch the pike and hold him till the treasure was given for ransom.
"The Children of Odin" by Padraic Colum
I'll get drunk, I think, like Ransom.
"Rídan The Devil And Other Stories" by Louis Becke
Rene found that, notwithstanding all his efforts, he could not obtain the money which the duke required for his ransom.
"Margaret of Anjou" by Jacob Abbott

In poetry:

“And is there none shall ransom thee;
Mayst thou no borrow find?”
“Nay, what man may my borrow be,
When all my wealth is left behind?
"Love's Reward" by William Morris
And if the sons of God rejoice
To hear a Savior’s Name,
How will the ransomed raise their voice
To whom that Savior came,
To whom that Savior came!
"Almighty Spirit, Now Behold" by James Montgomery
'Tis joyful news of sov'reign grace,
That reigns in state through righteousness,
To ransom from all threat'ning woes,
And answer all commanding do's:
"The Believer's Principles : Chap. II." by Ralph Erskine
The ransomed of God shall return to him
With a chorus of joy to an angel's lay;
With a tear of grief shall no eye be dim,
For sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
"Isaiah, Chapter XXXV" by John Gardiner Calkins Brainard
This is the royal way--to serve in love--
Servant to servants ever aim to be
Like Him who gave His life to ransom thee;
Then shalt thou sit with Him on throne above.
"The Royal Way" by Joseph Horatio Chant
Hallelujah! church victorious,
Thou mayst lift this joyful strain:
Hallelujah! songs of triumph
Well befit the ransomed train:
We our song must raise with sadness,
While in exile we remain.
"Hallelujah! Song of Gladness" by Anonymous European

In news:

Wilma Jean Ransome was born April 27, 1945 and died Oct 24, 2012.
Ransom The Untold Story of International Kidnapping By ANN HAGEDORN AUERBACH Henry Holt and Company.
Announcement has been made of the engagement of Kara Rising and Jonathan Ransom -Flint, both of Columbus, Ohio.
Somali pirates who seized a Japanese tanker six weeks ago have threatened to kill the 22 crew members unless a US$1 million ransom is paid, the AP reported.
Rain leads to road issues in Ransom County.
Wet weather washes away roads in Ransom County.
6 arrested for DUI during alcohol saturation in Ransom County.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. Infielder Cody Ransom was designated for assignment to clear space for the addition of first baseman Mike Sweeney to the 25-man roster Thursday.
Ransom hit.190 with two home runs and five RBIs.
When Thomas L Ransom started school, his parents were told that he had a learning disability.
Items tagged with Kings Ransom .
Ransom County Car Insurance.
A new Arnold Newman Fellowship in Photography will also be created to support scholarly research in the Ransom Center's photography collection.
Text of 1996 JonBenet ransom note.
Ransom Riggs compiles pictures that tell a story.

In science:

The data are processed at these sites with dedicated computer clusters that use a search pipeline based on the PRESTO software suite (Ransom 2001; Ransom et al. 2002)23 .
Four Highly Dispersed Millisecond Pulsars Discovered in the Arecibo PALFA Galactic Plane Survey
Ransom et al. [206] have developed a particularly efficient algorithm for finding binaries whose orbits are so short that many orbits can take place during an integration.
Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at the New Millennium
For objects with known dispersion measures (some globular clusters for example), acceleration searches (Ransom 2000) will be used to find pulsars in binar ies.
Radio Pulsars
We Fourier-transformed the full 5.9-hr time series as well as 10-, 20- and 60-min sections and searched them using Fourierdomain acceleration search techniques (27) in a manner similar to that described in Ransom et al. (28) in order to maintain sensitivity to pulsars in compact binary systems.
Twenty-One Millisecond Pulsars in Terzan 5 Using the Green Bank Telescope
To perform these searches, we used the package PRESTO1 (see Ransom, Eikenberry, & Middleditch 2002, for a description of some of the search techniques included in this package).
A Strong Upper Limit on the Pulsed Radio Luminosity of the Compact Object 1RXS J141256.0+792204