Etymology: Middle English rescouen, rescuen, from Anglo-French rescure, from re- + escure to shake off, from Latin excutere, from ex- + quatere to shake
Date: 14th century
to free from confinement, danger, or evil ; save, deliver: as
a. to take (as a prisoner) forcibly from custody
b. to recover (as a prize) by force
c. to deliver (as a place under siege) by armed force
• rescuable adjective
• rescue noun
• rescuer noun
rescue, deliver, redeem, ransom, reclaim, save mean to set free from confinement or danger. rescue implies freeing from imminent danger by prompt or vigorous action <rescued the crew of a sinking ship>. deliver implies release usually of a person from confinement, temptation, slavery, or suffering <delivered his people from bondage>. redeem implies releasing from bondage or penalties by giving what is demanded or necessary <job training designed to redeem school dropouts from chronic unemployment>. ransom specifically applies to buying out of captivity <tried to ransom the kidnap victim>. reclaim suggests a bringing back to a former state or condition of someone or something abandoned or debased <reclaimed long-abandoned farms>. save may replace any of the foregoing terms; it may further imply a preserving or maintaining for usefulness or continued existence <an operation that saved my life>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.