captive

play
adjective cap·tive \ˈkap-tiv\

Definition of captive

  1. 1a :  taken and held as or as if a prisoner of warb (1) :  kept within bounds :  confined (2) :  of or relating to captive animals captive breeding

  2. 2 :  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

  3. 3 :  being such involuntarily because of a situation that makes free choice or departure difficult a captive audience

captive

noun

Examples of captive in a Sentence

  1. The captive soldiers planned their escape.

  2. the captive soldiers were treated humanely by the guards

Recent Examples of captive from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'captive'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of captive

Middle English, from Latin captivus, from captus, past participle of capere



CAPTIVE Defined for English Language Learners

captive

play
adjective

Definition of captive for English Language Learners

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

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


CAPTIVE Defined for Kids

1

captive

play
adjective cap·tive \ˈkap-tiv\

Definition of captive for Students

  1. 1 :  taken and held prisoner captive soldiers

  2. 2 :  kept within bounds or under control captive animals

  3. 3 :  as a prisoner I was taken captive.

  4. 4 :  unable to avoid watching or listening to something a captive audience


2

captive

play
noun cap·tive

Definition of captive for Students

  1. :  someone who is held prisoner



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