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, surety(noun)

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


  1. hostage(Noun)

    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. Hostage(noun)

    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.

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?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say hostage in sign language?

  1. hostage


  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. Vincent Rouget:

    This is the deadliest incident targeting the mining industry, or any private businesses, in the Sahel since the 2013 In Amenas hostage crisis.

  2. Anuj Somany:

    Marriage is a cage in which a husband is kept hostage to work always under the tutelage of his wife , so only a mentally deranged man can often be seen happy to live under his bondage to a woman.

  3. Julia Hallisy:

    You sound like a crazy person -- that your family member was held hostage in an American hospital, people can't believe that would happen. It's like the stuff of a science fiction story.

  4. Justin Trudeau:

    We agreed that it is something that we are going to make sure we do bring up with our friends and allies around the world, we need to make sure that terrorists understand that they cannot continue to fund their crimes and their violence (by) taking innocents hostage.

  5. Daniel Akbari:

    Nobody in the territory of the Iranian regime can hold one hostage for almost a decade without letting the Iranian intelligence find his location, and if a terrorist group like Al Qaeda or the Taliban had abducted him, by now, they could have asked for ransom or killed him and broadcast his beheading.

Images & Illustrations of hostage

  1. hostagehostagehostagehostagehostage

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Translations for hostage

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    an outward semblance that misrepresents the true nature of something
    • A. aspiration
    • B. cycling
    • C. disguise
    • D. odometer

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