hostage meaning, hostage definition | English Cobuild dictionary

Collins

hostage  

  ( hostages    plural  )
1       n-count   A hostage is someone who has been captured by a person or organization and who may be killed or injured if people do not do what that person or organization demands.  
2    If someone is taken hostage or is held hostage, they are captured and kept as a hostage.  
take sb hostage/hold sb hostage      phrase   V inflects  
He was taken hostage while on his first foreign assignment as a television journalist.     
3       n-var   If you say you are hostage to something, you mean that your freedom to take action is restricted by things that you cannot control.  
N to n  
With the reduction in foreign investments, the government will be even more a hostage to the whims of the international oil price...     
Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  
Collins

hostage  

  
captive, gage, pawn, pledge, prisoner, security, surety  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"