hostage

[ hos-tij ]
/ ˈhɒs tɪdʒ /

noun

a person given or held as security for the fulfillment of certain conditions or terms, promises, etc., by another.
Archaic. a security or pledge.
Obsolete. the condition of a hostage.

verb (used with object), hos·taged, hos·tag·ing.

to give (someone) as a hostage: He was hostaged to the Indians.

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Origin of hostage

1225–75; Middle English <Old French hostage (h- by association with (h)ostehost2), ostage ≪ Vulgar Latin *obsidāticum state of being a hostage <Latin obsid- (stem of obses) hostage (equivalent to ob-ob- + sid-sit1) + -āticum-age

OTHER WORDS FROM hostage

hos·tage·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for hostage

British Dictionary definitions for hostage

hostage
/ (ˈhɒstɪdʒ) /

noun

a person given to or held by a person, organization, etc, as a security or pledge or for ransom, release, exchange for prisoners, etc
the state of being held as a hostage
any security or pledge
give hostages to fortune to place oneself in a position in which misfortune may strike through the loss of what one values most

Word Origin for hostage

C13: from Old French, from hoste guest, host 1
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