early 15c., "buy back, ransom," also in a theological sense, "deliver from sin and spiritual death," from Old French redimer "buy back," from Latin redimere "to redeem, buy back," from red- "back" (see re-) + emere "to take, buy, gain, procure" (see exempt (adj.)). In Middle English Latin redimere sometimes was translated as againbuy. Meaning "make amends for" is from 1520s. Sense of "make good" (a promise, obligation, etc.) is from 1840. Related: Redeemed; redeeming.
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