cap·​tiv·​i·​ty kap-ˈti-və-tē How to pronounce captivity (audio)
: the state of being captive
some birds thrive in captivity
obsolete : a group of captives

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 Green focused on the loss of hostages presumed still to be in the captivity of Hamas, with his son passing out flyers with photos. Rey Covarrubias Jr., The Arizona Republic, 10 May 2024 These last objects recur through Saar’s work as a shorthand for captivity. Evan Nicole Brown, New York Times, 8 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for captivity 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'captivity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near captivity

Cite this Entry

“Captivity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on captivity

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