adjective hos·tile \ˈhäs-təl, -ˌtī(-ə)l\

: of or relating to an enemy

: not friendly : having or showing unfriendly feelings

: unpleasant or harsh

Full Definition of HOSTILE

a :  of or relating to an enemy <hostile fire>
b :  marked by malevolence :  having or showing unfriendly feelings <a hostile act>
c :  openly opposed or resisting <a hostile critic> <hostile to new ideas>
d (1) :  not hospitable <plants growing in a hostile environment>
(2) :  having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature <a hostile workplace>
a :  of or relating to the opposing party in a legal controversy <a hostile witness>
b :  adverse to the interests of a property owner or corporation management <a hostile takeover>
hostile noun
hos·tile·ly \-təl-(l)ē, -ˌtī(-ə)l-lē\ adverb

Examples of HOSTILE

  1. Dugoni, a lawyer who coauthored a nonfiction book about an Idaho worker brain-damaged in 1996 by cyanide fumes, opens his debut novel with a wrongful death attorney in San Francisco, David Sloane, about to make his closing remarks defending a corporation in a similar case. Sloane, who has won 14 cases in a row, hates his arrogant client and must face an obviously hostile jury. —Publishers Weekly, 9 Jan. 2006

Origin of HOSTILE

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin hostilis, from hostis
First Known Use: 1580
HOSTILE Defined for Kids


adjective hos·tile \ˈhä-stəl\

Definition of HOSTILE for Kids

:  belonging to or relating to an enemy <They entered hostile territory.>
:  unfriendly 1 <He moved to get away from hostile neighbors.>


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