hostility

noun
hos·​til·​i·​ty | \ hä-ˈsti-lə-tē How to pronounce hostility (audio) \
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

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 The United States has urged North Korea to return to talks without preconditions, but the North has rejected such an overture saying the U.S. must first drop its hostility toward it. NBC News, 3 Apr. 2022 Attorneys alleged that Cespedes prevented the city and Crain from studying her claims and increased his hostility toward her. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Mar. 2022 The Biden administration has urged North Korea to return to talks without any preconditions, but Pyongyang has responded Washington must drop its hostility first and has taken steps to expand his weapons arsenals. Hyung-jin Kim, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Mar. 2022 The Biden administration has urged North Korea to return to talks without any preconditions, but Pyongyang has responded Washington must drop its hostility first and has taken steps to expand his weapons arsenals. Fox News, 28 Mar. 2022 Previously scolded by Brussels for its hostility to migrants, Poland has over the past month welcomed far more refugees from Ukraine than has any other country. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 26 Mar. 2022 Even Hungary, usually criticized for its hostility toward asylum seekers, has been generous in response. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, 25 Mar. 2022 Previously scolded by Brussels for its hostility to migrants, Poland has over the past month welcomed more than two million refugees fleeing the war next door in Ukraine, far more than any other country. New York Times, 25 Mar. 2022 And the Biden administration—in its alleged hostility to the industry, and acquiescence to misguided climate activists—is sending those investors all the wrong signals, preventing them from changing their minds. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of hostility

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

History and Etymology for hostility

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

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Time Traveler for hostility

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hostility

hostile witness

hostility

Hostimella

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Statistics for hostility

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hostility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hostility. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hostility

hostility

noun
hos·​til·​i·​ty | \ hä-ˈsti-lə-tē How to pronounce hostility (audio) \
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 How to pronounce hostility (audio) \
plural hostilities

Medical Definition of hostility

: conflict, opposition, or resistance in thought or principle

Other Words from hostility

hostile \ ˈhäs-​tᵊl How to pronounce hostility (audio) , -​ˌtīl How to pronounce hostility (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on hostility

Nglish: Translation of hostility for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hostility for Arabic Speakers

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