One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who saves another or others from sin or damnation; specifically (with capital initial and frequently with the) God or Christ.
2A person who redeems another from slavery or captivity; specifically a Trinitarian or Mercedarian. Compare redemptionist. historical.
3Generally. A redeemer.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in The Book of Margery Kempe. From Anglo-Norman redemptur Christ, as redeemer (second quarter of the 13th cent. or earlier; compare in same sense Old French redemptor, Middle French redempteur, French rédempteur) and its etymon classical Latin redemptor contractor, person who buys up rights dependent on the outcome of a lawsuit, ransomer, in post-classical Latin also God or Christ as redeemer (Vetus Latina), Trinitarian from redempt-, past participial stem of redimere + -or. Compare Catalan redentor, Spanish redentor, Portuguese redentor, Italian redentore.
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