What does hostage mean?

Definitions for hostage
ˈhɒs tɪdʒhostage

Here are all the possible meanings 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


  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.

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

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

    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.]


  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. she-goat

  2. he-goats

How to pronounce hostage?

How to say hostage in sign language?


  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. Barack Obama:

    On behalf of the American people, I offer my deepest condolences to Luke’s family and to his loved ones, as this and previous hostage rescue operations demonstrate, the United States will spare no effort to use all of its military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans home safely, wherever they are located. .

  2. Cory Booker:

    A real progressive movement does not hold progress for communities like mine hostage today for promises that perfection will come tomorrow.

  3. Hassan Latheef:

    The government reneged on the agreed deal at the last minute, demanding a close family member of Nasheed remain in Male, effectively as a hostage, until he returns from the UK, if Nasheed does anything that breach the terms of the government, the family member could then be criminally prosecuted. This kind of blackmail is illegal, unheard of in international affairs, and totally outrageous.

  4. Chuck Hagel:

    But we start with the fact that we have an American that's being held hostage and that American's life is in danger and that's where we start. And then we proceed from there.

  5. Ahmed Omar:

    The death toll can increase because the blast was massive and there is a hostage situation involved.

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Translations for hostage

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    a container used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women)
    • A. directory
    • B. mediocrity
    • C. purse
    • D. ransom

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