Definition of hold someone for ransom in English:

hold someone for ransom

(also hold someone to ransom)

phrase

  • 1Hold someone captive and demand payment for their release.

    • ‘she has been freed after being kidnapped and held for ransom for over three months’
    kidnap, carry off, seize, capture, run away with, run off with, make off with, spirit away, hold hostage, hold to ransom, hijack
    1. 1.1Demand concessions from a person or organization by threatening damaging action.
      • ‘the company would be powerful enough to hold governments to ransom’
      extort money from, threaten, hold to ransom, milk, bleed