Definition of hostile in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhɒstʌɪl/


1Showing or feeling opposition or dislike; unfriendly: a hostile audience he wrote a ferociously hostile attack
More example sentences
  • But it was clear last night that the proposals would face hostile opposition from some health professionals and parents' groups.
  • On the other hand, it meant that some of his ideas provoked hostile opposition, while others were greeted with incomprehension or indifference.
  • And they have recognised that the movement must be built in the face of hostile opposition from a Labour government.
1.1Of or belonging to a military enemy: hostile aircraft
More example sentences
  • At least 80 troops are listed simply as killed in enemy or hostile action.
  • We shouldn't interpret this yet as moving toward enemy status or hostile status.
  • This can create some interesting maneuvers as Rayne takes on nearby enemies while evading hostile fire.
1.2 [predicative] Opposed: people are very hostile to the idea
More example sentences
  • Globalization simply means freedom of movement for goods and people, and it is hard to be violently hostile to that.
  • On the other, they are hostile to hard work and always on the look out for an easy buck.
  • Of course, the media is hostile to nationalism in Scotland and gives the SNP a hard time, but that has always been the case.
opposing, against, dead set against, at odds with
informal anti, down on
1.3(Of a takeover bid) opposed by the company to be bought: the brewery fought off a hostile takeover bid last year
More example sentences
  • Cable company Comcast sprang a hostile takeover bid on Disney on February 11.
  • Irish software firm Riverdeep is a prime target for a hostile takeover bid, according to industry analysts.
  • It marks the first time a foreign company has launched a hostile takeover bid for a mainland company.



Pronunciation: /ˈhɒstʌɪli/
Example sentences
  • My late friend Ivan Tors, who produced ‘Flipper,’ told me that he never saw an animal act hostilely, unless they were very hungry.
  • I can say I did react hostilely originally when Susan tried address the problem on her own.
  • The effect, Scalia explained, was that some topics were favored over others: you could be punished for speaking symbolically and hostilely about race, but not, for instance, about sexual orientation.


Late 16th century: from French, or from Latin hostilis, from hostis 'stranger, enemy'.

  • hospital from Middle English:

    Latin hospis meant both ‘host’ and ‘guest’. This has given us host (Middle English) itself (in the meaning ‘a person who entertains other people as guests’), hostel (Middle English), and hotel, as well as hospice (early 19th century), hospital, hospitality (Late Middle English), and hostile (late 16th century). Although the immediate source of guest (Old English) is Old Norse gestr, the history of the word can be traced back to an ancient root shared by Latin hostis.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hos|tile

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