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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web But many of the callers were hostile and confused, Rose said. Washington Post, "Trump shared the wrong number for a Michigan lawmaker. A 28-year-old has gotten thousands of angry calls.," 4 Jan. 2021 The prosecution plans to outline a pattern of hostile and manipulative behavior by the Riveras, who had a rocky relationship with her Montalvo prior to her disappearance in October 2019. Cristóbal Reyes, orlandosentinel.com, "Judge rejects request to suppress evidence in Nicole Montalvo murder trial," 29 Dec. 2020 By cloaking the language of profit in the language of safety, these efforts are able to write out the poor and unhoused—those for whom the city is the most hostile and unsafe—from these most basic human identities. Apoorva Tadepalli, The New Republic, "The Rhetorical Weapons of Liberal Nimbyism," 14 Sep. 2020 Having a small and agile knife meant better concealability in hostile and submissive environments. Matt Fratus, Field & Stream, "The Stories Behind 7 Infamous U.S. Military Knives," 19 Aug. 2020 In the roughly one-hour meeting, the North Korean ambassador repeated a goal of forging a strong relationship with the U.S., so long as Washington’s hostile policy to the Kim regime is dropped, the people said. WSJ, "North Korea Says It Wants Good U.S. Ties in Rare Meeting With Western Lawmaker," 31 Dec. 2020 On Wednesday, many of these tensions were on display — as officers complained to dispatch about the lack of manpower on the ground and pushed for an aggressive response to a crowd that was hostile but not violent. Washington Post, "Fatal shooting by police sets off protest in Minneapolis," 31 Dec. 2020 Northeast Greenland is still one of the most hostile regions of the Arctic, with only the Sirius Patrol of the Danish Army occasionally crossing the frozen expanse on dog sledges during the coldest part of the year. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study sheds new light on polar explorer’s final hours, 100+ years later," 28 Dec. 2020 As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt was one of the EPA’s most hostile critics. NBC News, "Biden will inherit hundreds of toxic waste Superfund sites, with climate threats looming," 28 Dec. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for hostile

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hostile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hostile. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for hostile

hostile

adjective
How to pronounce hostile (audio) How to pronounce hostile (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hostile

: of or relating to an enemy
: not friendly : having or showing unfriendly feelings
: unpleasant or harsh

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

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Comments on hostile

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