hostile

adjective
hos·​tile | \ ˈhä-stᵊl How to pronounce hostile (audio) , -ˌstī(-ə)l How to pronounce hostile (audio) \

Definition of hostile

1a : of or relating to an enemy hostile fire
b : marked by malevolence : having or showing unfriendly feelings a hostile act
c : openly opposed or resisting a hostile critic hostile to new ideas
d(1) : not hospitable plants growing in a hostile environment
(2) : having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature a hostile workplace
2a : of or relating to the opposing party in a legal controversy a hostile witness
b : adverse to the interests of a property owner or corporation management a hostile takeover

Other Words from hostile

hostile noun
hostilely \ ˈhä-​stᵊl-​(l)ē How to pronounce hostile (audio) , -​ˌstī(-​ə)l-​lē \ adverb

Examples of hostile in a Sentence

Dugoni, a lawyer who coauthored a nonfiction book about an Idaho worker brain-damaged in 1996 by cyanide fumes, opens his debut novel with a wrongful death attorney in San Francisco, David Sloane, about to make his closing remarks defending a corporation in a similar case. Sloane, who has won 14 cases in a row, hates his arrogant client and must face an obviously hostile jury. Publishers Weekly, 9 Jan. 2006 Relations with neighboring societies may be intermittently or chronically hostile. A society may be able to hold off its enemies as long as it is strong, only to succumb when it becomes weakened for any reason, including environmental damage. — Jared M. Diamond, Collapse, 2005 I do not want a hostile relationship with my surgeon. But it's obvious he's pigeonholed me into the last of the four patient categories that doctors use when writing a case history: young, middle-aged, senior, elderly. — Sylvia Simmons, Newsweek, 10 June 2002 Even when one is inside a climate-controlled spacecraft, sheltered from the deadly vacuum outside, space is a hostile setting. Terrestrial organisms venturing off the planet face a number of threats, chief among them cosmic radiation and the near absence of gravity. — Kenneth S. Kosik, Air & Space, June/July 2001 Lotus Development Corp. succumbed to a sweetened offer of $3.52 billion, or $64 a share, from International Business Machines Corp. in one of the fastest capitulations ever in a hostile takeover. A marathon week of negotiations, which began shortly after IBM unveiled a surprise bid of $60 a share for Lotus last Monday, ended yesterday with the signing of a definitive agreement. — Laurie Hays et al., Wall Street Journal, 12 June 1995 While the stereotype of the tortured artist brooding alone in a drafty garret may be an exaggeration, artists of all kinds—painters, musicians, poets, singers—often find themselves struggling to cope in a … world downright hostile to their work. Financial hardships, loneliness, family members who nag them to get "real" jobs, and their own self-destructive attitudes and habits can block creativity and prevent artists from pursuing their vision. New Age Journal, Winter 1995 They were entering hostile territory. Her suggestions were given a hostile reception. It was a small town that was hostile to outsiders. The camel is specially adapted to its hostile desert habitat. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Some economists were indeed hostile to the social-welfare state; others designed it. Idrees Kahloon, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 Advocates of transgender rights say California prison officials are hostile to a recent state law that allows inmates to transfer to a prison facility that matches their gender identity, and can’t be counted on to defend it in court. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 May 2022 In 2014, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts buffer zone law, requiring subsequent zones to be more limited in scope, and the current makeup of the court will likely be even more hostile to any such laws. Garnet Henderson, ELLE, 6 May 2022 Almost certainly working against Griner is her status as a prominent gay, Black woman in a country where authorities have been hostile to the LGBTQ community. Mark Faller, The Arizona Republic, 3 May 2022 In short, zero trust assumes every user, device and service that attempts to connect to a network is hostile until proven otherwise. Forbes, 1 May 2022 Some have also suggested such portrayals -- as well as the plot's alleged historical revisionism -- could exacerbate conflict between India's Hindus and Muslims at a time when religious tensions in the country are increasingly hostile. CNN, 27 Apr. 2022 Several deadly attacks on Hazaras have been attributed to the Islamic State in Khorasan Province or IS-K, which is hostile to the Taliban and proven to be an intractable security challenge. The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 Black women were also picked up by police, and then stranded in all-white neighborhoods that were hostile to integration. Sarah A. Seo, The Atlantic, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of hostile

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hostile

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin hostīlis, from hostis "enemy" + -īlis "pertaining to or characteristic of (such persons)" — more at host entry 1

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Time Traveler for hostile

Time Traveler

The first known use of hostile was in 1580

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Dictionary Entries Near hostile

hostess-ship

hostile

hostile embargo

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Statistics for hostile

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hostile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hostile. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hostile

hostile

adjective
hos·​tile | \ ˈhä-stᵊl How to pronounce hostile (audio) \

Kids Definition of hostile

1 : belonging to or relating to an enemy They entered hostile territory.
2 : unfriendly sense 1 He moved to get away from hostile neighbors.

hostile

adjective
hos·​tile

Legal Definition of hostile

1 : having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature a hostile work environment
2a : of or relating to an opposing party in a legal action a hostile claim
b : adverse to the interests of a party to a legal action if the interests of the party joined involuntarily render him hostile to the original plaintiff, he must remain a defendant— J. H. Friedenthal et al.
3a : adverse to or incompatible with the interests of a property owner a hostile use — see also adverse possession at possession, easement by prescription at easement, prescription sense 1
b : unwelcome by or contrary to the interests of corporate stockholders or management a hostile takeover bid

More from Merriam-Webster on hostile

Nglish: Translation of hostile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hostile for Arabic Speakers

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