Meaning of “captive” in the English Dictionary

"captive" in English

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captivenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈkæp.tɪv/ us /ˈkæp.tɪv/

a person or animal whose ability to move or act freely is limited by being closed in a space; a prisoner, especially a person held by the enemy during a war:

When the town was recaptured, we found soldiers who had been captives for several years.
hold/take sb captive

to keep someone as a prisoner or make someone a prisoner:

The terrorists were holding several diplomats captive.
adjective uk us

captive soldiers

(Definition of “captive” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"captive" in American English

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captivenoun [ C ]

us /ˈkæp·tɪv/

a prisoner, esp. a person held by the enemy during a war

noun [ U ] us /kæpˈtɪv·ɪ·t̬i/

Most animals bred in captivity would probably not survive in the wild.

captiveadjective, adverb

us /ˈkæp·tɪv/

(being) without the ability to escape:

The soldiers were held captive for three months.
When selling to people in their homes, you’ve got a captive audience (= people who cannot leave).

(Definition of “captive” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"captive" in Business English

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captiveadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈkæptɪv/ us COMMERCE

not having a choice about what services, goods, etc. you buy because there is only one or there are only a few available in the place where you are:

In the cinema, advertisers know that they have a captive audience.
Long-distance airline passengers are the perfect captive market.
Utility companies could be fined for overcharging captive customers or undercharging consumers who have a choice of supplier.

(Definition of “captive” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)