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king's ransom

A very large sum of money. I've always wanted to vacation in Hawaii, but the plane tickets cost a king's ransom.
See also: ransom

hold (one) to ransom

To demand something or some action from someone by threatening them with a harmful consequence if they do not comply. Threatening us with a fine if we don't participate in the survey is a bit like holding us to ransom, isn't it?
See also: hold, ransom

hold someone for ransom

to demand money for the return of a person who has been kidnapped. The kidnappers held me for ransom, but no one would pay. We will hold Timmy for ransom and hope that the police don't find us.
See also: hold, ransom

*king's ransom

Fig. a great deal of money. (To pay an amount as large as one might have to pay to get back a king held for ransom. *Typically: cost ~; pay ~; spend~.) I would like to buy a nice watch, but I don't want to pay a king's ransom for it. It's a lovely house. I bet it cost a king's ransom.
See also: ransom

king's ransom

A huge sum of money, as in That handmade rug must have cost a king's ransom. This metaphoric expression originally referred to the sum required to release a king from captivity. [Late 1400s]
See also: ransom

hold someone to ransom

COMMON If one person holds another to ransom, the first person uses their power or influence to force the second to do something they do not want to do. But who are the powerful men at the Bundesbank who have the power to hold Europe to ransom? Giorgio Armani, the fashion guru, refused to be held to ransom by greedy catwalk supermodels.
See also: hold, ransom, someone

a king's ransom

mainly BRITISH
A king's ransom is an extremely large sum of money. She was paid a king's ransom for a five-minute appearance in the film. With so few skilled electricians available, these people can charge a king's ransom for their services.
See also: ransom

a king's ransom

a huge amount of money; a fortune.
In feudal times prisoners of war were freed for sums in keeping with their rank, so a king, as the highest-ranking individual, commanded the greatest ransom.
See also: ransom

hold someone or something to ransom

1 hold someone prisoner and demand payment for their release. 2 demand concessions from a person or organization by threatening damaging action.

a ˌking’s ˈransom

(literary) a very large amount of money: We don’t exactly get paid a king’s ransom in this job.In the past, if a king was captured in a war, his country would pay a ransom for his release.
See also: ransom

hold somebody to ˈransom

1 hold somebody as a prisoner until money has been paid for their release: The kidnappers held the little girl to ransom for more than eight hours.
2 try to force somebody to do what you want by using threats: The government said that the workers were holding the country to ransom by demanding a ten per cent pay rise.
See also: hold, ransom, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
The court heard the child was with a relative who recognised Ransom after seeing her picture in The Gazette and immediately took the child away before contacting the police.
He said that they also abducted Raju from Lasbela Chowk and got ransom money by threatening his family members.
It's public knowledge na their intent is to get ransom at pag walang ransom pinupugutan ng ulo (and if there would be no ransom, they would be beheaded).
So far, these tools have managed to decrypt more than 28,000 devices, depriving cybercriminals of an estimated eight million in ransoms.
The Trend Micro website says: "Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system's screen or by locking the users' files unless a ransom is paid.
The Village of Ransom Board voted in favour of the sale on 9 September 2015 and the Illinois Commerce Commission approved the sale for USD 175,000 on 24 February 2016.
Falling out of the heaven, into a world" marks the change in imagery from oceanic and drifting, in which Ransom felt spiritual peace, to vertical and anchored, in which creation seems to long and reach for heaven where gravity is not a factor and spiritual consummation is achieved (OSP 41).
We are against paying ransom," Gentiloni said, adding Italy follows "the rules and behaviors" shared by the international community.
Maria Stella Gelmini, a senior member of the centre-right Forza Italia party said the government should explain whether a ransom had been paid.
On October 17, the Abu Sayyaf freed the couple with Abu Raimi claiming that Germans were released after payment of the P250 million ransom.
BAALBEK, Lebanon: A Kuwaiti national who had been kidnapped for more than two months was released Tuesday in return for a huge ransom, a source told The Daily Star.
Consistent with its avowed "no ransom policy," the government insisted that no state funds were used in paying the ransom money, a claim that was affirmed by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III in an interview with foreign correspondents in Manila on Oct.
The Prime Minister told the Commons he has no doubts that millions of dollars raised by Islamic State from ransom payments is used to promote terrorism affecting the UK.
It was not a serious demand, but it points to a serious problem: Too many foreign governments are willing to pay ransom, inviting further kidnappings and providing terrorist groups with an important source of financing.
A look at how the United States and various European nations have dealt with hostage-taking and ransom demands for their citizens in recent years: