What does hostage mean?

Definitions for hostage
ˈhɒs tɪdʒhostage

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word hostage.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. hostage, suretynoun

    a prisoner who is held by one party to insure that another party will meet specified terms

Wiktionary

  1. hostagenoun

    A person given as a pledge or security for the performance of the conditions of a treaty or stipulations of any kind, on the performance of which the person is to be released.

  2. Etymology: From hostage (French: otage, from hoste or obsidanus.)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Hostagenoun

    One given in pledge for security of performance of conditions.

    Etymology: ostage, French.

    Your hostages I have, so have you mine;
    And we shall talk before we fight. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleopat.

    Do this message honourably;
    And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
    Bid him demand what pledge will please him best. William Shakespeare.

    He that hath wife and children, hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Francis Bacon, Essay 8.

    They who marry give hostages to the publick, that they will not attempt the ruin or disturb the peace of it. Francis Atterbury.

    The Romans having seized a great number of hostages, acquainted them with their resolution. John Arbuthnot, on Coins.

Wikipedia

  1. Hostage

    A hostage is a person seized by an abductor in order to compel another party, one which places a high value on the liberty, well-being and safety of the person seized—such as a relative, employer, law enforcement, or government—to act, or refrain from acting, in a certain way, often under threat of serious physical harm or death to the hostage(s) after expiration of an ultimatum. The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition defines a hostage as "a person who is handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war."A party who seizes one or more hostages is known as a hostage-taker; if the hostages are present voluntarily, then the receiver is known as a host. In civil society, along with kidnapping for ransom and human trafficking (often willing to ransom its captives when lucrative or to trade on influence), hostage taking is a criminal activity. In the military context, hostages are distinct from prisoners of war—despite prisoners being used as collateral in prisoner exchange—and hostage taking is regarded as a war crime. On occasion, hostage taking is an impulsive act of desperation, as when a criminal act goes awry, the criminal has lethal force available, and a bystander becomes hasty collateral, despite the prospects for evading justice remaining poor, now soon surrounded by lethal force with intent as well as criminal prosecution for a serious additional crime, should the hostage taker survive the escalated stand-off (not always the intent; see suicide by cop). These confrontations are extremely dramatic, and are prominent in the public eye, despite being rather uncommon. Hostage taking is sometimes the only way to enact a plan, hence tactical, such as certain forms of prison escape, especially as treated in film. At the other extreme, it can be an entirely calculated business venture by what amounts to organized crime. Before venturing into regimes known for lax rule of law, it is commonplace for affluent travellers and business persons to obtain kidnap and ransom insurance, though this will be less effective if the kidnapper's game plan transmutes into political extortion. Parental child abduction is not generally considered hostage taking because there is usually no threat of harm to the child and no ultimatum concerning the return of the child (though there are cases where the leverage obtained within the failed parental relationship is more desired than the child), but otherwise hostage taking and kidnapping are prone to blend together. When the goal is strictly financial, the primary lens is one of extortion, even in the face of a severe threat to the safety of the captive person if the financial negotiation fails; conversely, when the goal is political or geopolitical, the primary lens is terrorism.

ChatGPT

  1. hostage

    A hostage is a person who has been captured and detained by an individual or group, often for use as leverage in negotiations, or to demand ransom or force compliance with specific demands. The detained person's freedom, and possibly their life, is put at stake, creating pressure on others to fulfill the captor’s demands.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Hostagenoun

    a person given as a pledge or security for the performance of the conditions of a treaty or stipulations of any kind, on the performance of which the person is to be released

  2. Etymology: [OE. hostage, OF. hostage, ostage, F. tage, LL. hostaticus, ostaticum, for hospitaticum, fr. L. hospes guest, host. The first meaning is, the state of a guest, hospitality; hence, the state of a hostage (treated as a guest); and both these meanings occur in Old French. See Host a landlord.]

Wikidata

  1. Hostage

    A hostage is a person or entity which is held by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war. However, in contemporary usage, it means someone who is seized by a criminal abductor in order to compel another party such as a relative, employer, law enforcement, or government to act, or refrain from acting, in a particular way, often under threat of serious physical harm to the hostage after expiration of an ultimatum. A person who seizes one or more hostages is known as a hostage-taker; if the hostages are present voluntarily, then the receiver is known as a host.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Hostage

    hos′tāj, n. one remaining with the enemy as a pledge for the fulfilment of the conditions of a treaty.—Hostages to fortune, a man's wife, children, &c. [O. Fr. hostage (Fr. ôtage)—Low L. obsidaticus—L. obses, obsidis, a hostage.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. hostage

    A person held as a pledge that certain terms or agreements will be kept. (The taking of hostages is forbidden under the Geneva Conventions, 1949.)

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. hostage

    A person given up to an enemy as a pledge or security for the performance of the articles of a treaty.

Suggested Resources

  1. hostage

    Song lyrics by hostage -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by hostage on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'hostage' in Nouns Frequency: #2812

Anagrams for hostage »

  1. he-goats

  2. she-goat

How to pronounce hostage?

How to say hostage in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of hostage in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of hostage in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of hostage in a Sentence

  1. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla:

    I am pleased the Presidential Council agrees that we cannot reward individuals who hold Libya's oil hostage, there can be no backroom deals if we are to build trust. Any past salary payments to the Petroleum Facilities Guards need to be transparent, properly authorised and documented.

  2. Nancy Pelosi:

    President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis and must reopen the government.

  3. Joe Biden:

    Threatening the safety of Americans or any innocent civilians is always unacceptable, and hostage-taking is an act of particular cruelty and cowardice, the Taliban must immediately release Mark before it can expect any consideration of its aspirations for legitimacy. This is not negotiable.

  4. Paul Whelan:

    This is not an issue of Russia against me ; it's an issue of Russia against the United States, and United States needs to answer this hostage diplomacy situation and resolve it as quickly as possible.

  5. Mike Connors:

    I have a knife, a bomb and a hostage. Bring it on. i was kind of in shock.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

hostage#10000#17017#100000

Translations for hostage

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"hostage." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/hostage>.

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