[ hos-tl, -tahyl ]
See synonyms for: hostilehostilely on

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of an enemy: a hostile nation.

  2. opposed in feeling, action, or character; antagonistic: hostile criticism.

  1. characterized by antagonism.

  2. not friendly, warm, or generous; not hospitable.

  1. a person or thing that is antagonistic or unfriendly.

  2. Military. an enemy soldier, plane, ship, etc.

Origin of hostile

First recorded in 1585–95; from Latin hostīlis, equivalent to hostis “enemy” (see host2) + -īlis -ile

synonym study For hostile

2. 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.

Other words for hostile

Opposites for hostile

Other words from hostile

  • hos·tile·ly, adverb
  • in·ter·hos·tile, adjective
  • non·hos·tile, adjective
  • non·hos·tile·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·hos·tile, adjective
  • o·ver·hos·tile·ly, adverb
  • pre·hos·tile, adjective
  • sem·i·hos·tile, adjective
  • sem·i·hos·tile·ly, adverb
  • un·hos·tile, adjective
  • un·hos·tile·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with hostile Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use hostile in a sentence

  • I caught questioning, challenging glances flashing across the table, each woman hostilely striving to place the other.

    The Mountebank | William J. Locke
  • Through the veil, Renovales saw her eyes that flashed hostilely and her dainty lips angrily tightened.

    Woman Triumphant | Vicente Blasco Ibaez
  • Public attention had been earnestly and hostilely directed to the questionable project, and Burr's hopes were at an end.

  • For he came up to the bench and looked down somewhat hostilely at the man sitting there.

    Man of Many Minds | E. Everett Evans
  • Man will always listen even though disapprovingly and hostilely, if the poet reveals a soul.

    The Literature of Ecstasy | Albert Mordell

British Dictionary definitions for hostile


/ (ˈhɒstaɪl) /

  1. antagonistic; opposed

  2. of or relating to an enemy

  1. unfriendly

  1. a hostile person; enemy

Origin of hostile

C16: from Latin hostīlis, from hostis enemy

Derived forms of hostile

  • hostilely, adverb

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