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noun, plural hos·til·i·ties.
  1. a hostile state, condition, or attitude; enmity; antagonism; unfriendliness.
  2. a hostile act.
  3. opposition or resistance to an idea, plan, project, etc.
  4. hostilities,
    1. acts of warfare.
    2. war1.
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Origin of hostility

1375–1425; late Middle English hostilite < Latin hostīlitās. See hostile, -ity
Related formsnon·hos·til·i·ty, nouno·ver·hos·til·i·ty, nounpre·hos·til·i·ty, noun, plural pre·hos·til·i·ties.sem·i·hos·til·i·ty, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for hostility

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There she always finishes her hostility by making some solid acquisition.

  • The hostility to this seemingly harmless teaching was of the most intense.

  • There is hostility to it still, but mild as compared with that felt by our great-great-grandfathers.

  • Instantly, Martin's cordiality vanished; his hostility toward her surged.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • All the animals in the creation are more or less in a state of hostility with each other.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for hostility


noun plural -ties
  1. enmity or antagonism
  2. an act expressing enmity or opposition
  3. (plural) fighting; warfare
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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 hostility


early 15c., from Middle French hostilité "enmity" (15c.), or directly from Late Latin hostilitatem (nominative hostilitas) "enmity," from Latin hostilis, from hostis "enemy" (see guest). Hostilities in the sense of "warfare" attested from 1610s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper