captivity

noun
cap·​tiv·​i·​ty | \kap-ˈti-və-tē \

Definition of captivity 

1 : the state of being captive some birds thrive in captivity

2 obsolete : a group of captives

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Examples of captivity in a Sentence

The prisoners were released from captivity. the wildlife refuge raises endangered species in captivity and then releases them into the wild

Recent Examples on the Web

And while several dozen new parrots have been born in captivity and in the wild since Maria, the species is still in danger, according to scientists. Danica Coto, The Seattle Times, "Scientists work to save wild Puerto Rican parrot after Maria," 21 Nov. 2018 Three were executed, and a fourth died in captivity. Dan Sewell, Fox News, "Historic WWII raid lives on with Doolittle survivor, now 103," 22 Sep. 2018 In captivity, John learned in ways that few of us ever will the meaning of those words. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Read Barack Obama’s eulogy for Sen. John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 In captivity John learned in ways that few of us ever will the meaning of those words, how each moment, each day, each choice is a test. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Barack Obama's Speech at John McCain's Funeral," 1 Sep. 2018 The grisly human trafficking eventually stopped, but some say those who died in captivity have had a hard time leaving this world. Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Most Haunted Cities In America and Why You Should Visit," 18 Oct. 2018 That was when Nadia realized the most chilling fact of her captivity: The women were in on it. Nadia Murad, Glamour, "Nadia Murad Escaped Sexual Slavery at the Hands of ISIS. This Is Her Story.," 5 Oct. 2018 This isn't surprising, as spiders are solitary animals that don't grow at high density in captivity (this is something that drives people who want to study spider silk a bit nuts). John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Ars eats more bugs, finds a few we like," 30 Sep. 2018 Rhesus monkeys share 93 percent of their genetic makeup with humans and usually live to about 26 in captivity. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018

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

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First Known Use of captivity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for captivity

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for captivity

The first known use of captivity was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for captivity

captivity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of captivity

: the state of being kept in a place (such as a prison or a cage) and not being able to leave or be free : the state or condition of being captive

captivity

noun
cap·​tiv·​i·​ty | \kap-ˈti-və-tē \

Kids Definition of captivity

: the state of being held prisoner : the state of being captive

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More from Merriam-Webster on captivity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with captivity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for captivity

Spanish Central: Translation of captivity

Nglish: Translation of captivity for Spanish Speakers

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