Middle English Dictionary Entry

raunsǒun n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The release of a prisoner of war by payment; also, fig. with payment in blood; bien ~ [see bien v. 1a.(a)]; maken ~, to effect (one's) ransom; also fig.; proferen to ~, offer to allow (prisoners) to be ransomed; (b) the payment made for the release of a prisoner of war; also, payment to buy off a hostile army; putten (taken) to ~, to hold (sb.) for ransom; (c) a payment made as penalty for an offense or for remission of another penalty, a fine; also, compensation [quot.: a1475]; fin and ~; withouten ~, without remission; non ~ goth (shal gon, is), there shall be (is) no lesser penalty; (d) a tax or tribute; also, a sum gained by extortion; (e) a sum of money, esp. a large sum; (f) coll. hostages; (g) fig. release from the necessity of dying.
Theol.: (a) Redemption; deliverance from damnation; comen to ~, to be redeemed; maken ~, effect redemption; (b) the price of redemption; also, Christ, the Redeemer; (c) the fruits of the redemption, a redeemed soul; also, coll. souls that have been redeemed.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1300 ME Verse in Anglia 92p.71 : Þe munde of Cristes passioun, þat was hure alre ransun, teres hit tollez, eches [read: eyes] hit bollez, nebbes hit wetez, and hertes hit swetes.
  • Note: Antedates 2.(b) per JR