What is hostage?

  • (noun): A prisoner who is held by one party to insure that another party will meet specified terms.
    Synonyms: surety


A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war. However, in contemporary usage, it means someone who is seized by a criminal abductor in order to compel another party such as a relative, employer, law enforcement, or government to act, or refrain from acting, in a particular way, often under threat of serious physical harm to the hostage(s) after expiration of an ultimatum.

Read more about Hostage.

Some articles on hostage:

Lebanon Hostage Crisis
... The Lebanon hostage crisis refers to the systematic kidnapping in Lebanon of 96 foreign hostages of 21 national origins – mostly American and western European – between 1982 ... At least 8 hostages perished in captivity some murdered, while others died from lack of adequate medical attention to illnesses ... for the kidnapping used different names, but the testimony of former hostages indicates almost all the "groups" were actually one group of "a dozen men" coming "from ...
Hostage For A Day
... Hostage for a Day is a 1994 comedic film starring and directed by Canadian comedian and actor John Candy ... him as a minor character, as a Russian hostage taker ... Kooey decides to pose as being held hostage by some Russian, and calls the SWAT team on himself (an inept, budget-strapped band of cops led by Don Lake) in an ...
Christopher Voss
... While assigned to the CNU, Voss was also the FBI hostage negotiation subject-matter expert for the Hostage Working Group of the National Security Council and the U.S ... hostage negotiation subject-matter expert representative to the G8 ...
Famous Hostages Include - Recent Times
... Iran hostage crisis Terry A ... Anderson Jill Carroll Christian Chesnot Georges Malbrunot Elizabeth Smart Terry Waite ...

Famous quotes containing the word hostage:

    Neither dead nor alive, the hostage is suspended by an incalculable outcome. It is not his destiny that awaits for him, nor his own death, but anonymous chance, which can only seem to him something absolutely arbitrary.... He is in a state of radical emergency, of virtual extermination.
    Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929)