Meaning of RESCUE in English

I. ˈre(ˌ)skyü verb

( rescued ; rescued ; rescuing -_skyəwiŋ, -(ˌ)skyüiŋ ; rescues )

Etymology: Middle English rescuen, rescowen, from Middle French rescourre, from Old French, from re- + escourre to shake out, wrest away, from Latin excutere, from ex- + -cutere (from quatere to shake) — more at quash

transitive verb


a. : to free from confinement, violence, danger, or evil : liberate from actual restraint : save , deliver

rescue a prisoner of war from the enemy

rescued a drowning child

b. : to take forcibly from the custody of the law

2. : to recover by force: as

a. : to deliver (as a place besieged) by force of arms

b. : to effect a rescue of (a prize)

3. : to bid over a bid by (one's partner or oneself) in a card game on the assumption that the previous bid would entail a serious penalty

intransitive verb

: to bring about deliverance


deliver , redeem , ransom , reclaim , save : rescue indicates freeing from capture, assault, evil, death, or destruction by ready prompt action

rescuing a soldier from the enemy

rescuing the guards held as hostages

the seamen rescued from the lost ship

rescue his nation from defeat

deliver signifies setting free from confinement, suffering, tribulation, embarrassment, or vexation

delivered the prisoners from the Bastille

deliver us from evil — Mt 6:13 (Revised Standard Version)

the population of Russia had only just been delivered, nominally at least, from serfdom — Havelock Ellis

redeem applies to releasing from captivity, retribution, sequestration, or deterioration by some necessary expenditure

let me redeem my brothers both from death — Shakespeare

he labored for eighty years, redeeming them to Christianity from their magical and bloodthirsty practices — Norman Douglas

a plot of land redeemed from the heath, and after long and laborious years brought into cultivation — Thomas Hardy

ransom usually applies specifically to buying a captive out of his captivity

ransom a child held by kidnappers

back in Quebec with a number of Iroquois captives whom he had ransomed — J.J.Wynne

reclaim indicates a bringing back or returning to a former sound, good, or valuable condition of something that has undergone error, degenerating, waste, neglect, or abandonment

the priest labored zealously to reclaim those of the redmen that had listened to Baptist teachings — Louise P. Kellogg

I fear he is not to be reclaimed; there is scarcely a hope that anything in his character or fortunes is reparable now — Charles Dickens

a large-scale program of reclaiming land and of bringing new land into cultivation — H.S.Truman

save is a general term that can be used in place of any of the preceding; it may imply a freeing from danger, evil, or trial and a maintaining or preserving for continued existence, security, use, or service

saved a tired swimmer from drowning

firemen saving the rear wing of the house

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English rescue, rescowe, from rescuen, rescowen to rescue

1. : an act of rescuing : deliverance or aid in delivering from restraint, violence, or danger

three rescues to his credit

come to their rescue


a. : the forcible taking of a person or goods from the custody of the law (as in retaking or taking away against law of things lawfully distrained or in the forcible liberation of a person from an arrest or imprisonment)


(1) : the retaking of a prize by those captured with it resulting in the restoration of the property to the owner by the effect of the right of postliminium — compare recapture

(2) : succor rendered by the arrival of outside help before the succored party is entirely overcome

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.