Definition of hostile
1a : of or relating to an enemy hostile fireb : marked by malevolence : having or showing unfriendly feelings a hostile actc : openly opposed or resisting a hostile critic hostile to new ideasd (1) : not hospitable plants growing in a hostile environment (2) : having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature a hostile workplace
hostilelyplay \ˈhä-stəl-(l)ē, -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.
Recent Examples of hostile from the Web
Phillips is receiving firsthand experience working in a foreign country and being part of a team vital to our nation’s defense, keeping the world’s waterways open and safe from hostile forces.
Russia refused, saying that the compound issue was a hostile act that deserved no reciprocal action to resolve, and had to be dealt with before other diplomatic problems could be addressed.
Congressional investigators continue to press for key documents in the ongoing investigation, and the retired lieutenant general is trying to limit damaging disclosures that hostile Democratic lawmakers could use against him.
The issue was off the table during the current session, giving Abbott and his supporters a less hostile atmosphere to press ahead with the governor’s ethics agenda.
Three new lawsuits by people alleging a hostile work environment were filed just days after his death at age 77.
Some observers say the moment was right for the message, given hostile and divisive political discourse during and after the 2016 presidential election.
The basic defensive idea is to fire a rocket into space upon warning of a hostile missile launch.
Judge Niemeyer also predicted that the majority’s reliance on campaign statements would meet a hostile reception in the Supreme Court.
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.
Origin and Etymology of hostile
Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin hostilis, from hostis
First Known Use: 1580See Words from the same year
HOSTILE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hostile for English Language Learners
: of or relating to an enemy
: not friendly : having or showing unfriendly feelings
: unpleasant or harsh
HOSTILE Defined for Kids
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 1 b : unwelcome by or contrary to the interests of corporate stockholders or management a hostile takeover bid
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