hostage

noun hos·tage \ ˈhä-stij \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of hostage

1 a : a person held by one party in a conflict as a pledge pending the fulfillment of an agreement
b : a person taken by force to secure the taker's demands
2 : one that is involuntarily controlled by an outside influence

Examples of hostage in a Sentence

  1. The terrorists demanded a plane and a pilot in exchange for the hostages.

  2. The hostage crisis is now entering its second week.

  3. The passengers were taken hostage.

  4. They were held hostage for several days.

Recent Examples of hostage from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of hostage

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from hoste



HOSTAGE Defined for English Language Learners

hostage

noun

Definition of hostage for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is captured by someone who demands that certain things be done before the captured person is freed


HOSTAGE Defined for Kids

hostage

noun hos·tage \ ˈhä-stij \

Definition of hostage for Students

: a person who is captured by someone who demands that certain things be done before the captured person is freed

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