Share this entry

rescue Syllabification: res·cue
Pronunciation: /ˈreskyo͞o/

Definition of rescue in English:

verb (rescues, rescuing, rescued)

[with object]
1Save (someone) from a dangerous or distressing situation: firemen were called out to rescue a man trapped in the river
More example sentences
  • A teenager has thanked fire crews who saved his life by rescuing him from a blazing inferno.
  • Firefighters had to rescue four people trapped in their vehicles.
  • What makes people risk their lives to rescue someone trapped in a burning house or drowning in a river?
Synonyms
save, save from danger, save the life of, come to the aid of;
free, set free, release, liberate
1.1 informal Keep from being lost or abandoned; retrieve: he got out of his chair to rescue his cup of coffee
More example sentences
  • 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 yellow phenotype was completely rescued in all five lines.
  • 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.
Synonyms
retrieve, recover, salvage, get back

noun

Back to top  
1An act of saving or being saved from danger or distress: he came to our rescue with a loan of $100
More example sentences
  • In an amazing stroke of luck for the sick patient, all three people who came to his rescue were health workers.
  • Two men passing by dramatically came to their rescue and managed to reach them using the branches from nearby trees.
  • A TEENAGER'S boyfriend came to her rescue when she was dragged to the ground by another youngster on Thursday.
Synonyms
saving, rescuing;
release, freeing, liberation, bailout, deliverance, redemption
help, assist, lend a helping hand to, lend a hand to, bail out
informalsave someone's bacon, save someone's neck, save someone's skin
1.1 [as modifier] Denoting the emergency excavation of archaeological sites threatened by imminent building or road development.
Example sentences
  • My sixth form tutor gave me days off to help on rescue excavations.
  • The discovery came about during rescue excavations on Thames Water's sludge works.
  • Our excavation was a rescue project in every sense of the phrase.
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
More example sentences
  • I have an old rescue cat staying with me called Snowflake.
  • 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.
  • My grandmother had always owned a cat, and later in life she started adopting rescue cats from the local Cats Protection League.

Derivatives

rescuable

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • What has now emerged is that you had 400 people - 343 firemen and the police - who died inside buildings that were empty of rescuable people.
  • We selected one allele, 124, which was homozygous viable to the pharate adult stage and was rescuable with the SNAP - 25 transgene, for more detailed analysis.
  • However, the phenotype was subtle and the mutants were not fully rescuable, indicating that the mutation was leaky and/or conferred semidominance.

Origin

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

More
  • Rescue is from Old French rescoure based on Latin excutere ‘shake out, discard’. The prefix re- intensifies the sense. The notion here is of ‘shaking out’ a captive from the hands of an enemy.

Words that rhyme with rescue

début • nephew • Pegu • ecu

Definition of rescue in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources