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 hostilely (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

In other words, a military parade too focused on a domestic audience can easily send a problematic message abroad, projecting and inwardly contracting society hostile to being part of the international community. Washington Post, "Trump’s July 4 spectacle was inspired by France. To some outside the U.S., it looks more like China.," 3 July 2019 Mrs May earned a reputation for being hostile to the City. The Economist, "London’s reign as the world’s capital of capital is at risk," 29 June 2019 Page left after her 45-day temporary assignment ended, while Strzok was removed when Mueller was informed that the FBI agent and Page had exchanged texts hostile to Trump and in support of his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Trump says Mueller committed a 'crime' and 'terminated' texts between Strzok and Page. (He didn't.)," 26 June 2019 The Iraqi embrace of militias hostile to the U.S. is a source of tension between Washington and Baghdad. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "Iran’s Elite Defense Force Finds New Funding Sources as Tension Rises With U.S.," 16 June 2019 But compared to other habitats—the rainforest, the ocean, grasslands—the desert seems so uniquely hostile to life. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Meet the animals that survive extreme desert conditions," 25 Apr. 2019 Federal Circuit judges spend a lot of time around patent lawyers, and patent lawyers are hostile to the very idea of cordoning off some types of discoveries from the patent system. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Why a 40-year-old SCOTUS ruling against software patents still matters today," 21 June 2018 Or, to put it another way, these infractions are the products not of our system working correctly, but of its being rejected by a progressivism that is openly hostile to its presumptions. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, "The Post-Liberals’ Incoherence," 20 June 2019 Many educators view Florida leaders as hostile to public education, passing laws and budgets in the last decade that made their work and their take-home pay less desirable. Leslie Postal, orlandosentinel.com, "Seminole teachers to vote on 3% raises, salary negotiations continue in Orange, Lake," 18 June 2019

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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Statistics for hostile

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hostile

The first known use of hostile was in 1580

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More Definitions for hostile

hostile

adjective

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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More from Merriam-Webster on hostile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hostile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hostile

Spanish Central: Translation of hostile

Nglish: Translation of hostile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hostile for Arabic Speakers

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