adjective cap·tive \ˈkap-tiv\

: captured and kept in a prison, cage, etc.

: forced to watch or listen to something because you cannot leave

Full Definition of CAPTIVE

a :  taken and held as or as if a prisoner of war
b (1) :  kept within bounds :  confined
(2) :  of or relating to captive animals <captive breeding>
:  held under control of another but having the appearance of independence; especially :  owned or controlled by another concern and operated for its needs rather than for an open market <a captive mine>
:  being such involuntarily because of a situation that makes free choice or departure difficult <a captive audience>
captive noun

Examples of CAPTIVE

  1. The captive soldiers planned their escape.
  2. <the captive soldiers were treated humanely by the guards>

Origin of CAPTIVE

Middle English, from Latin captivus, from captus, past participle of capere
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: captive boltPrevious Word in the Dictionary: captivateAll Words Near: captive
May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears