- The release of a captive, or of captured property, by payment of a consideration; redemption; as, prisoners hopeless of 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." [Milton.]"His captivity in Austria, and the heavy ransom he paid for his liberty." [Sir J. Davies.]
- [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.
Etymology: OE. raunson raunsoun, OF. rançon raençon raançon, F. rançon, fr. L. redemptio, fr. redimere to redeem. See Redeem, and cf. Redemption