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

If captivity can make wild animals anxious or depressed, freedom — or something approximating it — may be the best cure. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Are we making our pets crazy, too?," 13 July 2018 Even with these early successes, the scimitar-horned oryx’s conservation status remains the priority of zoologists around the world, and scientists will continue to breed calves in captivity for the purposes of reintroduction. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx," 10 July 2018 Hardegen spent one year in British captivity during peacetime, apparently because of a mix-up with an SS officer who shared his last name, and eventually founded an oil company in Bremen. Washington Post, latimes.com, "Reinhard Hardegen, U-boat commander who menaced American shores, dies at 105," 19 June 2018 Hardegen spent one year in British captivity during peacetime, apparently because of a mix-up with an SS officer who shared his last name, and eventually founded an oil company in Bremen. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Reinhard Hardegen, U-boat commander who menaced American shores, dies at 105," 18 June 2018 The first cub, a female called Nuan Nuan born in August 2015, was sent back to China last November as part of a deal with Beijing to return cubs born in captivity at the age of 2. Fox News, "Baby panda born in Malaysia zoo makes media appearance," 26 May 2018 Because captive birds tend to be slightly inbred, certain versions of a gene become predominant and can serve as a kind of fingerprint for captivity. National Geographic, "This Popular Parrot 'Talks' Like Us. But We're Silencing It.," 21 May 2018 In April, the Nigerian government said a disagreement between members of Boko Haram had caused a breakdown in negotiation talks for the release of remaining schoolgirls in the group's captivity. Chika Oduah For Cnn, CNN, "'She refused to convert to Islam,' 84 days on, kidnapped schoolgirl Leah Sharibu remains in captivity," 15 May 2018 Michelle Knight has worked hard to move on with her life in the five years since she was freed after more than a decade of brutal captivity in a Cleveland house. Michael Zennie, Time, "Cleveland Kidnapping Survivor Michelle Knight Says 'Certain Smells and Light Fixtures' Still Trigger Her 5 Years Later," 7 May 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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Phrases Related to captivity

in captivity

Statistics for captivity

Last Updated

7 Oct 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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