ransom

(redirected from king's ransom)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

ransom

1) n. money paid to a kidnapper in demand for the release of the person abducted. Ransom money can also be paid to return a valuable object such as a stolen painting. 2) v. to pay money to an abductor to return the person held captive. (See: kidnapping, abduction)

ransom

noun cost of reclamation, cost of recovery, deliverance, extrication, pretium, price of redemption, price of retaking, price of retrieval, redemption, rescue
See also: blackmail, extricate, free, pay, redeem, rescue

RANSOM, contracts, war. An agreement made between the commander of a capturing vessel with the commander of a vanquished vessel, at sea, by which the former permits the latter to depart with his vessel, and gives him a safe conduct, in consideration of a sum of money, which the commander of the vanquished vessel, in his own name, and in the name of the owners of his vessel and cargo, promises to pay at a future time named, to the other.
     2. This contract is usually made in writing in duplicate, one of which is kept by the vanquished vessel which is its safe conduct; and the other by the conquering vessel, which is properly called ransom bill.
     3. This contract, when made in good faith, and not locally prohibited, is valid, and may be enforced. Such contracts have never been prohibited in this country. 1 Kent, Com. 105. In England they are generally forbidden. Chit. Law of Nat. 90 91; Poth. Tr. du Dr. de Propr. n. 127. Vide 2 Bro. Civ. Law, 260; Wesk. 435; 7 Com. Dig. 201; Marsh. Ins. 431; 2 Dall. 15; 15 John. 6; 3 Burr. 1734. The money paid for the redemption of such property is also called the ransom.

References in periodicals archive ?
IF you've always yearned to be king of your very own castle then one has gone up for sale in the Midlands - and it won't cost a king's ransom.
This novice lost a king's ransom of the little white beggars amidst a sea of brush off the fairways.
122: 6-7) As all three religions also place value on the city of Jerusalem, could it be that, if the attitude and belief that brought about this donation were allowed to spread, might it not become the King's ransom through which peace is created?
Hardly a king's ransom when you consider that the Vale of Glamorgan Council asks Welsh League football side Barry Town half that amount to play at the town's Jenner Park.
But it's a king's ransom to sad-sack Democrats who seem likely to be hit very hard by the new campaign finance laws which go into effect during the next election cycle.
The ancient Egyptians believed King Tut was a god who would live forever, so they buried him with a king's ransom.
But you don't have to invest a king's ransom in technology to see a benefit, says Michael Dziak, president of InteleWorks Inc.
The Galo habit is a great way to build a delightful wardrobe without paying a king's ransom.
But these authors show how an Internet following can help techsavvy self-publishers net a king's ransom and generate e-book success.
The cross, which had been bound for the royal courts of Europe before it disappeared three centuries ago, recently brought a king's ransom in auction at Christie's of London.
Suzie Devey, 47, from North Field Close, was fast-tracked to the King's Ransom final when she discovered a golden key hidden in the Horsforth Pub in Leeds.
Thank goodness that we've moved on from those days where young men were paid a king's ransom for a couple of hours' work.