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.

Definitions of ransom
  1. noun
    the act of freeing from captivity or punishment
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    type of:
    recovery, retrieval
    the act of regaining or saving something lost (or in danger of becoming lost)
  2. noun
    payment for the release of someone
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    type of:
    defrayal, defrayment, payment
    the act of paying money
  3. noun
    money demanded for the return of a captured person
    synonyms: ransom money
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    type of:
    the total spent for goods or services including money and time and labor
  4. verb
    exchange or buy back for money; under threat
    synonyms: redeem
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    type of:
    change, exchange, interchange
    give to, and receive from, one another
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