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English definition of “ransom”

ransom

noun [C or U] uk   /ˈræn.səm/ us  
a large amount of money that is demanded in exchange for someone who has been taken prisoner, or sometimes for an animal: a ransom demand/note They demanded a huge ransom for the return of the little girl whom they had kidnapped. The gang held the racehorse to/for ransom.

ransom

verb [T] uk   /ˈræn.səm/ us  
to pay money in order to set someone free: Her father ransomed her for a million dollars.
(Definition of ransom from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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