- A person held by one party in a conflict as security that specified terms will be met by the opposing party. (noun)
- One that serves as security against an implied threat: superpowers held hostage to each other by their nuclear arsenals. (noun)
- One that is manipulated by the demands of another: "National policies cannot be made hostage to another country” ( Alan D. Romberg). (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.