If you’re ever kidnapped, you’d probably be worth millions in ransom. Ransom is the money demanded for the release of a captive.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “held for ransom.” That means someone has been captured and is being held prisoner until a sum of money is delivered to the captors. Ransom can refer to the money paid, but it can also be a verb that describes paying for the release of someone being held. If you have to ransom your best friend, that means you’re paying his captors to release him.