hostage

play
noun hos·tage \ˈhä-stij\

Definition of hostage

  1. 1a :  a person held by one party in a conflict as a pledge pending the fulfillment of an agreementb :  a person taken by force to secure the taker's demands

  2. 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.

Origin and Etymology of hostage

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from hoste


First Known Use: 13th century



HOSTAGE Defined for English Language Learners

hostage

play
noun hos·tage \ˈhä-stij\

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

play
noun hos·tage \ˈhä-stij\

Definition of hostage for Students

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


Learn More about hostage


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up hostage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

living or existing naturally in a region

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • snowflake-closeup
  • Which is a synonym of imprecate?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ