hostage - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. a person who is the prisoner of someone who threatens to kill them if they do not get what they want

    The President is making every effort to obtain the release of the hostages.

    take someone hostage:

    Six visiting businessmen were taken hostage by rebel groups.

    hold someone hostage:

    A prison librarian held hostage for 13 hours has been freed.

     Synonyms and related words