Hostage


Hostage
Hostage Hos"tage, n. [OE. hostage, OF. hostage, ostage, F. [^o]tage, LL. hostaticus, ostaticum, for hospitaticum, fr. L. hospes guest, host. The first meaning is, the state of a guest, hospitality; hence, the state of a hostage (treated as a guest); and both these meanings occur in Old French. See {Host} a landlord.] A person given as a pledge or security for the performance of the conditions of a treaty or stipulations of any kind, on the performance of which the person is to be released. [1913 Webster]

Your hostages I have, so have you mine; And we shall talk before we fight. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.