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captive

[kap-tiv]
See more synonyms for captive on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a prisoner.
  2. a person who is enslaved or dominated; slave: He is the captive of his own fears.
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adjective
  1. made or held prisoner, especially in war: captive troops.
  2. kept in confinement or restraint: captive animals.
  3. enslaved by love, beauty, etc.; captivated: her captive beau.
  4. of or relating to a captive.
  5. managed as an affiliate or subsidiary of a corporation and operated almost exclusively for the use or needs of the parent corporation rather than independently for the general public: a captive shop; a captive mine.
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Origin of captive

1300–50; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin captīvus, equivalent to capt(us) taken (past participle of capere to take) + -īvus -ive
Related formsnon·cap·tive, adjectivepseu·do·cap·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for captive

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Shortly after, the captive Duke was one morning found weeping.

  • "Evidently they fell out about the possession of the captive," suggested von Horn.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • There were yet other rude experiences in store for the captive.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • It reminds me, a captive by the waters of Babylon, that God is ever with the friendless.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • In one of these toads and adders were the companions of the captive.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield


British Dictionary definitions for captive

captive

noun
  1. a person or animal that is confined or restrained, esp a prisoner of war
  2. a person whose behaviour is dominated by some emotiona captive of love
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adjective
  1. held as prisoner
  2. held under restriction or control; confinedcaptive water held behind a dam
  3. captivated; enraptured
  4. unable by circumstances to avoid speeches, advertisements, etc (esp in the phrase captive audience)
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Word Origin

C14: from Latin captīvus, from capere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for captive

adj.

late 14c., "imprisoned, enslaved," from Latin captivus "caught, taken prisoner," from captus, past participle of capere "to take, hold, seize" (see capable). As a noun from c.1400; an Old English noun was hæftling, from hæft "taken, seized."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper