American English

Definition of ransom noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

 

ransom

 noun
noun
NAmE//ˈrænsəm//
 
[countable, uncountable]
 
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  • money that is paid to someone so that they will set free a person who is being kept as a prisoner by them The kidnappers demanded a ransom of $50,000 from his family. a ransom demand/note ransom money They are refusing to pay ransom for her release.
  • Idioms
      hold somebody for ransom
       
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    1. 1to keep someone as a prisoner and demand that other people pay you an amount of money before you set them free
    2. 2(disapproving) to take action that puts someone in a very difficult situation in order to force them to do what you want
    a king's ransom (literary)
     
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    a very large amount of money
    See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: ransom

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