Definition of hostile in English:



  • 1Showing or feeling opposition or dislike; unfriendly.

    ‘a hostile audience’
    ‘he wrote a ferociously hostile attack’
    • ‘A couple of months before he died, he became very hostile, very angry and he complained of horrible headaches.’
    • ‘If they don't get attacked by a hostile neighbour they will perish from sheer want.’
    • ‘The situation he's referring to is an Opposition-controlled Parliament and a hostile media.’
    • ‘Fears of hostile crowds and attacks on the team evaporated early on.’
    • ‘Type A people, who tend to get angry and hostile easily, are more likely to get heart attacks.’
    • ‘The film drew hostile questions from some audience members who felt it was unnecessarily violent and judgmental.’
    • ‘On the other hand, it meant that some of his ideas provoked hostile opposition, while others were greeted with incomprehension or indifference.’
    • ‘But his father's manner when he met him at the station, Danny recalled, was all wrong: hostile and aggressive.’
    • ‘And they have recognised that the movement must be built in the face of hostile opposition from a Labour government.’
    • ‘She was angry and hostile because she felt out of control and scared.’
    • ‘The speech, an argument against the enslavement of women, was to be directed to a hostile audience of whites.’
    • ‘Greenock's attack was far from hostile and slipshod strokeplay accounted for the demise of the home side.’
    • ‘John Redwood congratulated the BBC journalist for his courage in speaking before such a hostile audience.’
    • ‘In that case, a hostile audience member asked him, what are you doing to prevent obesity?’
    • ‘Another woman in another hostile TV audience revealed his ignorance about the difficulties of making appointments to see a GP.’
    • ‘I have often observed that political extremist of all stripes are often very angry and hostile people.’
    • ‘Their right of defence was curtailed by interruptions from the judge and the apparently hand-picked audience of hostile spectators.’
    • ‘At least half of your audience may be openly hostile in an attempt to undermine and discredit what you are saying if it is unhelpful to their cause.’
    • ‘Interesting idea here: why are the dogs antisocial, hostile, and aggressive?’
    • ‘But it was clear last night that the proposals would face hostile opposition from some health professionals and parents' groups.’
    antagonistic, aggressive, confrontational, belligerent, bellicose, pugnacious, militant, truculent, combative, warlike
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    1. 1.1 Of or belonging to a military enemy.
      ‘hostile aircraft’
      • ‘At least 80 troops are listed simply as killed in enemy or hostile action.’
      • ‘They would patrol the river and attack any hostile unit that was stupid enough to enter their sights.’
      • ‘The video shows what the U.S. Military calls a legitimate strike against hostile forces.’
      • ‘This can create some interesting maneuvers as Rayne takes on nearby enemies while evading hostile fire.’
      • ‘Units of troops might have become separated and subject to attack by hostile or friendly forces.’
      • ‘Military officials do not believe the crash was caused by hostile fire.’
      • ‘The US-backed security forces are capable only of sporadic raids into the hostile countryside and attacks on them are increasing.’
      • ‘Usually, the front armor is the strongest, so it's a good idea to attack hostile tanks from the rear, or at least the side.’
      • ‘And what message would Allende have sent to a hostile military had he refused the aid?’
      • ‘American generals have the power to order the destruction of any hostile aircraft, if they do not have time to contact senior politicians.’
      • ‘It more than triples the range the Navy can engage an air target and allows ships to act prior to hostile aircraft being in a position to launch their own weapons.’
      • ‘I wonder how long it took before the crew of the stealth aircraft realised that those blips were incoming hostile aircraft?’
      • ‘The accident was under investigation, though the military did say no hostile fire was involved.’
      • ‘The company suffered a large number of casualties from the intense hostile fire while fighting its way out of the ambush.’
      • ‘The military said Wednesday that the aircraft appeared to have been brought down by hostile fire.’
      • ‘The Patriot system identified the aircraft as a hostile anti-radiation missile and duly brought it down, killing both crew members.’
      • ‘We shouldn't interpret this yet as moving toward enemy status or hostile status.’
      • ‘The most direct is to detect, classify, locate, track, and attack hostile submarines.’
      • ‘It is essential that all forces and assets that can combat hostile aircraft should take part in air defense.’
      • ‘Then the official line changed to claiming that the aircraft had come under ‘sustained and hostile fire’.’
    2. 1.2predicative Opposed.
      ‘people are very hostile to the idea’
      • ‘At least 70% of women are hostile to war under almost any circumstances.’
      • ‘The idea that there is a school, a group of people, who believe that any multilateralism is hostile to American interests is simply wrong.’
      • ‘He had opposed the Second Boer War, and was likewise initially hostile to the concept in August 1914.’
      • ‘Russia and China were openly hostile to the plan.’
      • ‘That is why housing worker unions such as Unison are hostile to the plans and yesterday angrily began their campaign for a ‘no’ vote.’
      • ‘But at the time I was so hostile to the system I didn't realize that they were trying to cooperate with me.’
      • ‘The book purports to recount the history of gun ownership in America and is written with a slant that is hostile to gun ownership.’
      • ‘On the other, they are hostile to hard work and always on the look out for an easy buck.’
      • ‘A few black mothers were hostile to the study design and this was uncomfortable for the black woman interviewer who was not the grant holder.’
      • ‘Of course, the media is hostile to nationalism in Scotland and gives the SNP a hard time, but that has always been the case.’
      • ‘It doesn't oppose science, but is merely hostile to the idea that human beings can be defined solely by what science calibrates.’
      • ‘Change to them would be an anathema and hostile to their kind of political culture so why should they really want Vision 2020?’
      • ‘People should not live in an environment that is hostile to human rights, humanitarianism, human nature and human feelings.’
      • ‘One reason my reaction is so hostile to the practice we're discussing is that I see it as imposing a modest risk for no benefit.’
      • ‘I will not, however, approve any ads that I deem to be racist, vulgar, or hostile to my religious beliefs.’
      • ‘It is deeply hostile to religion, but finds it useful.’
      • ‘The former building society also remains hostile to the trend, although it is unlikely to participate in any high-profile campaign.’
      • ‘If Ebay, which has a virtual monopoly on classifieds is so hostile to decentralization, perhaps Ebay is vulnerable to the syndication model?’
      • ‘Globalization simply means freedom of movement for goods and people, and it is hard to be violently hostile to that.’
      • ‘It is significant that a lot of the coverage is coming from Britain, a country that is still hostile to the idea of ever joining the single currency.’
      opposed, averse, antagonistic, ill-disposed, unsympathetic, antipathetic, inimical
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    3. 1.3 (of a takeover bid) opposed by the company to be bought.
      ‘the brewery fought off a hostile takeover bid last year’
      • ‘A hostile takeover would be all but impossible under Heineken's current ownership structure.’
      • ‘Irish software firm Riverdeep is a prime target for a hostile takeover bid, according to industry analysts.’
      • ‘China Development's action would be described as a hostile takeover bid in tender offer terms.’
      • ‘In the late 1970s, Ansett became the target of hostile takeover bids.’
      • ‘Grubman knew Ebbers, and even advised him on the hostile takeover of MCI.’
      • ‘PeopleSoft has also sued Oracle in connection with the hostile takeover bid.’
      • ‘When there was hostile takeover bid, the town held prayer meetings for their corporation.’
      • ‘In October 2003, First Active will lose its five-year long protection from hostile takeover.’
      • ‘Industry observers say there have been no other successful hostile takeovers of a large European bank.’
      • ‘Such foreign direct investment is less about hostile takeovers than about friendly acquisitions.’
      • ‘Fearing hostile takeovers and falling share prices, firms seem to become overly fixated on quarterly returns.’
      • ‘It marks the first time a foreign company has launched a hostile takeover bid for a mainland company.’
      • ‘A hostile takeover occurs when a company buys a controlling share of a target company.’
      • ‘Unocal said its board would consider the hostile takeover bid.’
      • ‘Evidently, market conditions have been kinder to Peoplesoft, even though it is the subject of a hostile takeover bid.’
      • ‘Cable company Comcast sprang a hostile takeover bid on Disney on February 11.’
      • ‘To avoid a hostile takeover the target company may seek a ‘white knight’, another company with which it would prefer to merge.’
      • ‘Then Cohee attempted a hostile takeover of the bank in 2000 and was defeated.’
      • ‘He also brought forward the company's annual shareholder meeting to late March in what is seen as an effort to disrupt the hostile takeover bid.’
      • ‘Bradford and Bingley is protected from a hostile takeover for five years following flotation.’


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