hostility

noun
hos·​til·​i·​ty | \hä-ˈsti-lə-tē \
plural hostilities

Definition of hostility 

1a : 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 flee— R. 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 air— Theodor Reik

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

People with visible disfigurements, for instance, often face conscious and unconscious bias, staring, hostility, and discrimination in the workplace and in school, something that can be debilitating itself, hindering self-esteem and quality of life. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "This Swimsuit Line Wants to Change the Way We Think About Disfigurement," 28 Nov. 2018 The button order is backward by default, another decision seemingly driven by branding and a hostility toward the rest of the Android ecosystem. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Galaxy S9+ review—Faster specs, better biometrics in a familiar package," 15 Mar. 2018 That didn't stop the president from talking up the outcome of what was the first meeting between a U.S. and North Korean leader in six decades of hostility. Anne Flaherty And Josh Lederman, Houston Chronicle, "Trump claim raises eyebrows: NKorea no longer a nuke threat?," 13 June 2018 The English have, thus, had their revenge on those contemptuous intellectuals, but the hostility has harmed the country. The Economist, "English or British? Football highlights an enduring identity crisis," 12 July 2018 After that, the hostilities could intensify: Trump said Washington is ready to target an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports — and then $300 billion more — if Beijing does not yield. Joe Mcdonald, chicagotribune.com, "Trade war begins: U.S. tariffs take effect as China announces retaliation," 6 July 2018 After that, the hostilities could intensify: Mr. Trump said Washington is ready to target an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports — and then $300 billion more — if Beijing does not yield. CBS News, "As U.S. tariffs take effect, China says it will retaliate," 6 July 2018 The reason for the hostility sits a few blocks away on West Washington Street. Jessica Mendoza, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Red Hen aftermath, a community wades through nation's vitriol," 29 June 2018 There were more than 36,000 American casualties during the Korean War and though hostilities ceased some 65 years ago, the war was never formally ended. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, "Trump and Kim agree to recovery of US military remains from Korean War," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hostility.' 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 hostility

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

History and Etymology for hostility

see hostile

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Statistics for hostility

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hostility

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

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More Definitions for hostility

hostility

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hostility

: an unfriendly or hostile state, attitude, or action

hostilities : acts of fighting in a war

hostility

noun
hos·​til·​i·​ty | \hä-ˈsti-lə-tē \
plural hostilities

Kids Definition of hostility

1 : an unfriendly or hostile state, attitude, or action They showed no hostility toward strangers.

2 hostilities plural : acts of warfare

hostility

noun
hos·​til·​i·​ty | \hä-ˈstil-ət-ē \
plural hostilities

Medical Definition of hostility 

: conflict, opposition, or resistance in thought or principle

Other Words from hostility

hostile \ˈhäs-​tᵊl, -​ˌtīl \ adjective

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Comments on hostility

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