Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hostage”

hostage

noun
 
 
/ˈhɒstɪdʒ/
[C] someone who is kept as a prisoner and may be hurt or killed in order to force other people to do somethingPeople held in prison
take/hold sb hostage to catch or keep someone as a prisoner: Two tourists were held hostage by terrorists.Capturing or taking possession of thingsGetting, receiving and acceptingPutting people in prisonPhysical and sexual assault and abductionSexual activity in general
(Definition of hostage from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “hostage” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beer mat

a small piece of cardboard that you put under a glass to protect a table surface in a pub or bar

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More