[ hos-tl or, esp. British, -tahyl ]
/ ˈhɒs tl or, esp. British, -taɪl /


of, relating to, or characteristic of an enemy: a hostile nation.
opposed in feeling, action, or character; antagonistic: hostile criticism.
characterized by antagonism.
not friendly, warm, or generous; not hospitable.


a person or thing that is antagonistic or unfriendly.
Military. an enemy soldier, plane, ship, etc.

Origin of hostile

1585–95; < Latin hostīlis, equivalent to hostis enemy (see host2) + -īlis -ile


2 adverse, averse, contrary. Hostile, inimical indicate that which characterizes an enemy or something injurious to one's interests. Hostile applies to the spirit, attitude, or action of an enemy: They showed a hostile and menacing attitude. Inimical applies to an antagonistic or injurious tendency or influence: Their remarks were inimical to his reputation.

Related forms

Can be confused

hostel hostile (see synonym study at the current entry) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hostilely

British Dictionary definitions for hostilely


/ (ˈhɒstaɪl) /


antagonistic; opposed
of or relating to an enemy


a hostile person; enemy

Derived Forms

hostilely, adverb

Word Origin for hostile

C16: from Latin hostīlis, from hostis enemy
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