Definition of hostage noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈhɒstɪdʒ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːstɪdʒ//
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  • a person who is captured and held prisoner by a person or group, and who may be injured or killed if people do not do what the person or group is asking Three children were taken hostage during the bank robbery. He was held hostage for almost a year. The government is negotiating the release of the hostages. The hijackers kept the pilot as a hostage on board the plane. The gunmen took 24 hostages. diplomatic efforts to get the hostages released Wordfinderalert, assassinate, attack, campaign, execute, extremist, hijack, hostage, kidnap, terrorism See related entries: Terrorism
  • Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French, based on late Latin obsidatus ‘the state of being a hostage’ (the earliest sense in English), from Latin obses, obsid- ‘hostage’.Idioms something that you have, or have promised to do, that could cause trouble or worry in the future
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hostage