hostility

noun

hos·​til·​i·​ty hä-ˈsti-lə-tē How to pronounce hostility (audio)
plural hostilities
1
a
: deep-seated usually mutual ill will
glad to have gotten through the divorce proceedings without any visible signs of hostility
showed open hostility toward outsiders
b(1)
: hostile action
the Spanish expedition encountered hostility … and was forced to fleeR. W. Murray
(2)
hostilities plural : overt acts of warfare : war
Peace talks were stalled after recent hostilities.
2
: conflict, opposition, or resistance in thought or principle
there was tension, there was hostility and envy in the airTheodor Reik
Choose the Right Synonym for hostility

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will.

enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed.

an unspoken enmity

hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression.

hostility between the two nations

antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility.

a natural antipathy for self-seekers
antagonism between the brothers

animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility.

animosity that led to revenge

rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong.

rancor filled every line of his letters

animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice.

objections devoid of personal animus

Examples of hostility in a Sentence

They were both glad to have gotten through the divorce proceedings without any visible signs of hostility. The townspeople showed open hostility to outsiders. Peace talks were stalled after recent hostilities. Both sides are calling for a cessation of hostilities.
Recent Examples on the Web As such, Russia’s stance on India-China hostilities in the future will be critical, says Bajpaee, especially given India’s heavy reliance on Russia for military equipment that dates back to the height of the Cold War. Astha Rajvanshi, TIME, 9 July 2024 Some staffers have been angered by the hostilities and believe the blame game is getting in the way of the unified approach necessary to help steer him through a public relations crisis over his mental condition. Peter Cordi, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 6 July 2024 Defying years of hostility by nativists, Lincoln decided, just weeks after delivering the Gettysburg Address, to stimulate immigration afresh. Harold Holzer, New York Daily News, 4 July 2024 These echo chambers perpetuate a constant stream of radical perspectives that indoctrinate susceptible young children to see the world through a filter of hostility and division. Armstrong Williams, Baltimore Sun, 3 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for hostility 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hostility.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English hostilite, hostilitie, borrowed from Late Latin hostīlitāt-, hostīlitās, from Latin hostīlis "of an enemy, hostile" + -itāt-, -itās -ity

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of hostility was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near hostility

Cite this Entry

“Hostility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hostility. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

hostility

noun
hos·​til·​i·​ty hä-ˈstil-ət-ē How to pronounce hostility (audio)
plural hostilities
1
: a hostile state, attitude, or action
2
plural : acts of warfare

Medical Definition

hostility

noun
hos·​til·​i·​ty hä-ˈstil-ət-ē How to pronounce hostility (audio)
plural hostilities
: conflict, opposition, or resistance in thought or principle
hostile adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on hostility

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