Definition of rescue in English:



  • 1 Save (someone) from a dangerous or distressing situation.

    ‘firemen were called out to rescue a man trapped in the river’
    • ‘Both mother and son suffered in the cold water, but were rescued essentially unhurt.’
    • ‘They were rescued yesterday off the coast of Ireland.’
    • ‘Firefighters had to rescue four people trapped in their vehicles.’
    • ‘The Norwegian ship then rescued the 430 people.’
    • ‘The men were winched to safety and became the first people rescued by helicopter off the coast of Ireland.’
    • ‘Alisha was eventually rescued by firefighters from her bedroom, after a chip pan fire engulfed the kitchen in flames.’
    • ‘The plan must include procedures for rescuing workers who have fallen but are unable to rescue themselves.’
    • ‘A teenager has thanked fire crews who saved his life by rescuing him from a blazing inferno.’
    • ‘Four dogs, a kitten and a collection of snakes and lizards were rescued unharmed.’
    • ‘Four other miners were injured and eight were rescued unharmed.’
    • ‘The female tabby is seeking a reunion with her owners after being dramatically rescued by firefighters.’
    • ‘Two women who tried to battle a wall of flames to rescue a man trapped in his blazing home were today praised by firefighters.’
    • ‘He was trapped underneath until he was rescued by a fire crew.’
    • ‘Hundreds of people are still waiting to be rescued from the rooftops of homes and buildings.’
    • ‘One member of the crew was rescued by a US Navy helicopter, and did not suffer serious injury.’
    • ‘He later crashed the plane into the sea and was rescued relatively unhurt.’
    • ‘His lawyer has suggested that the jury could convict him of manslaughter by gross negligence for not rescuing her.’
    • ‘What makes people risk their lives to rescue someone trapped in a burning house or drowning in a river?’
    • ‘A taxi driver told today how he helped lift a car with his bare hands to rescue a child trapped in a road accident.’
    • ‘Two crewmen died, but the remaining 20 were eventually rescued by the lifeboat.’
    save, save from danger, save the life of, come to the aid of
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    1. 1.1informal Keep from being lost or abandoned; retrieve.
      ‘he got out of his chair to rescue his cup of coffee’
      • ‘John rescued his coffee from the confusion and leaned back in his chair to admire his son.’
      • ‘Another is a minuscule, dead-end space that was rescued from oblivion by a wall fountain and a pond.’
      • ‘"Oops," he shrugged as he rescued his coffee out of Cameron's hand which was currently in danger of dropping to the floor.’
      • ‘When it comes to her tennis, she is bright enough to construct a point, strong enough to wallop a point and fast enough to rescue a lost cause.’
      • ‘The yellow phenotype was completely rescued in all five lines.’
      • ‘He is there to plead for their life; that they be rescued from obscurity.’
      • ‘Now that he had rescued his belongings from the desert sand and pilfering fingers, he felt like a large weight had been lifted off his shoulders so he decided to stay a few more days and give them the benefit of his expertise.’
      • ‘The " little Chinese girl " was rescued from oblivion at the eleventh hour.’
      • ‘Yet the action still wasn't over with the away side determined to rescue some lost pride.’
      • ‘Robbie was rescued from obscurity and has shone at Leeds.’
      • ‘The relationship counselling service has been rescued from the brink of closure in west and north Wiltshire.’
      • ‘But the club was only rescued from extinction earlier this year by the new chairman.’
      • ‘He rescued his bag, and clinging to the poles he somehow managed to crawl up the ice foot, but he was pretty wet and soon very cold.’
      • ‘He is the world-renowned authority and registrar on the species he rescued from obscurity.’
      • ‘Several troubled companies saw their share prices boosted by the possibility that they could be rescued by a buy-out.’
      retrieve, recover, salvage, get back
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  • 1An act of saving or being saved from danger or distress.

    ‘he came to our rescue with a loan of $100’
    • ‘A TEENAGER'S boyfriend came to her rescue when she was dragged to the ground by another youngster on Thursday.’
    • ‘She initially passed out, but quickly recovered and tried to hold her brains in for over an hour until someone noticed and came to her rescue.’
    • ‘Janet was full of praise for the police officer who came to her rescue.’
    • ‘In order to save lives, we still have rescues and search and rescue operations ongoing.’
    • ‘Residents were furious that they had to organise an attempted rescue of survivors.’
    • ‘But after a quick sleep it didn't take long before a speedboat came to my rescue.’
    • ‘He worked his way up through the ranks - his experiences range from carrying out cliff rescues to passing on knowledge as a training instructor.’
    • ‘In an amazing stroke of luck for the sick patient, all three people who came to his rescue were health workers.’
    • ‘Over the years the Air Corps have been responsible for numerous successful rescues.’
    • ‘Tens of thousands of workers were involved in the rescue and cleanup effort.’
    • ‘He described being involved in a number of heroic rescues including rescuing a woman from a burning car, saving a child from being run over and preventing an old woman being mugged.’
    • ‘Two men passing by dramatically came to their rescue and managed to reach them using the branches from nearby trees.’
    • ‘The crew were always spared the task so they could save energy for the impending rescue.’
    • ‘Let's begin our coverage of the dramatic rescue of nine trapped coal miners in Pennsylvania.’
    • ‘Coastguards from England carried out the rescue off the coast of Cornwall.’
    • ‘Luckily his shouting disturbed the family of the house who came to his rescue.’
    • ‘While he was being attacked, the two police officials came to his rescue.’
    • ‘"Well, miss, I want to thank you for your daring rescue today.’
    • ‘I had always envisioned a sort of heroic rescue, but those were only dreams.’
    • ‘Thankfully, two young girls who worked in the barn came to our rescue.’
    saving, rescuing
    release, freeing, liberation, extrication
    deliverance, delivery, redemption, ransom, emancipation, relief
    help, assist, aid, lend a helping hand to, lend a hand to, bail out
    be someone's knight in shining armour
    save someone's bacon, save someone's neck, save someone's skin, get someone out of a tight spot
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    1. 1.1[as modifier]Denoting the emergency excavation of archaeological sites threatened by imminent building or road development.
      ‘they have not always been keen to organize rescue excavations to investigate these sites’
      • ‘Here there is still a major task of rescue archaeology to be done, because the site is being rapidly eroded.’
      • ‘Our excavation was a rescue project in every sense of the phrase.’
      • ‘The discovery came about during rescue excavations on Thames Water's sludge works.’
      • ‘My sixth form tutor gave me days off to help on rescue excavations.’
      • ‘By the late 1990s, the need for a more systematic programme of rescue archaeology had become urgent.’
    2. 1.2[as modifier]Denoting or relating to a domestic animal that has been removed from a situation of abuse or neglect by a welfare organization.
      ‘adopting a rescue cat may be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do’
      ‘some people find their ideal pet in a rescue shelter’
      • ‘She was a rescue dog from a puppy mill where she spent her first four or five years in horrible conditions in a cage.’
      • ‘I may be getting a rescue goldfish today.’
      • ‘A one-eyed rescue pooch has proved you do not need a pedigree to be a top dog at the world-famous Crufts.’
      • ‘This guide is written to help show first-time adopters what to expect when adopting an animal from a rescue shelter.’
      • ‘Last night I had an unexpected trip to the vets with Cassius, our first rescue cat who's been with us nearly 2 years now.’
      • ‘Rescue cats should be kept inside for at least their first few weeks in their new home.’
      • ‘A woman has hit out at an animal rescue home after being prevented from having a dog because she was too old and on income support.’
      • ‘Three of my five cats have been rescue cats, and one is the son of a rescued animal.’
      • ‘Just before Christmas 2000, a friend was hosting a cocktail party for dogs at a rescue shelter.’
      • ‘My grandmother had always owned a cat, and later in life she started adopting rescue cats from the local Cats Protection League.’
      • ‘Jeremy came back from the show with Tinker, a full-grown longhaired female, who, they told him, was a rescue hamster.’
      • ‘She recently adopted a St. Bernard from a rescue shelter and while the dog is a handful, she's really enjoying it.’
      • ‘I have an old rescue cat staying with me called Snowflake.’
      • ‘If you are considering taking on a rescue pet, do find out all the information you can about the animal.’
      • ‘The pair performed together as part of a rescue agility team at the world-famous dog show on Saturday morning.’
      • ‘The winner of the fancy dress class was Jane Maitland from Drumcliffe with a rescue dog called Patches.’
      • ‘The joy of helping a rescue dog is incredible.’
      • ‘I told my daughter that I was willing to donate up to 5,000 pounds to anyone who would set up a rescue home for the stray dogs here.’
      • ‘The home is now appealing for those looking for a pet to choose a rescue animal.’
      • ‘For 26 years Jackie ran a rescue home for rabbits in Hythe.’


Middle English: from Old French rescoure, from Latin re- (expressing intensive force) + excutere shake out, discard.