Definition of captive in English:

captive

noun

  • A person who has been taken prisoner or an animal that has been confined.

    • ‘After great battles, the captives were brought to the temple of Dagon to wait in the darkness.’
    • ‘Many local leaders, however, continued to sell captives to illegal slave traders.’
    • ‘The United States government is forbidden by its own law from torturing captives and prisoners.’
    • ‘Another short chain joins the leg-irons to the handcuffs, ensuring the captives cannot walk properly.’
    • ‘Woomera is the perfect place for a prison camp; even if its captives escape, they won't be able to get far.’
    • ‘The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs.’
    • ‘Why had he suddenly turned around, turned himself in, and gotten help for his captives?’
    • ‘After 1815 British warships who captured slave ships brought freed captives there.’
    • ‘They had become hostages at sea, where captives are more discreetly disposed of than anywhere else.’
    • ‘Consternation spread through the armed men, and a subdued elation sprang into the hearts of the captives.’
    • ‘The rebels generally bring their captives across the border to a Lord's Resistance Army camp in Sudan.’
    • ‘They have suffered many casualties, and their jails are full to the brim with captives.’
    • ‘The small room at the end was obviously the room where the captives had been detained.’
    • ‘At one point, the hostage wife demands to take one of the other captives to the ladies' room.’
    • ‘The hostage takers have allowed their 14 captives to receive supplies for the first time ever.’
    • ‘Each rebel carried many, many weapons so they could arm the captives they saved.’
    • ‘Often, he would hold women as captives until they were sold as slaves at a town held auction.’
    • ‘The government has so far refused to consider the exchange and the captives are condemned to many more years in their jungle prisons.’
    • ‘If his captives were using torture to keep him subdued, he would be too proud to let her know.’
    • ‘In the old days there were also slaves, those born as slaves and more recent captives.’
    prisoner, convict, detainee, inmate
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adjective

  • 1Imprisoned or confined.

    ‘the farm was used to hold prisoners of war captive’
    ‘a captive animal’
    • ‘She was taken captive early in the plans of imprisonment.’
    • ‘Interactions usually take place in confined settings with captive animals or, more rarely, with unconfined animals who have been conditioned to come by being fed.’
    • ‘I had returned to the bed and was laying down, trying to figure out where I was and who was holding me captive, when the lock clicked on the door.’
    • ‘And while scientists don't know for sure, Kunz suggests bat midwifery isn't an anomaly restricted to captive populations.’
    • ‘He said PAWS objects to circuses keeping wild and exotic animals captive for entertainment.’
    • ‘Jared's brother gets whacked, and Jared finds himself a prisoner, inexplicably held captive in a jail cell.’
    • ‘In another case a man from Auxerre was jailed for keeping women captive in the basement of his home.’
    • ‘It would not enjoy territorial contiguity and would continue to be policed by Israeli forces as a virtual prison camp for a captive population.’
    • ‘Gerstein's studies with captive manatees have shown that the animals cannot hear approaching boats and get out of the way before being hit.’
    • ‘Her eyes had grown to a soft gray, and there was a spark there that hadn't been ignited in the whole year she'd been captive in the prison.’
    • ‘A captive wild animal can only show us the loneliness, fear and boredom they experience for the entirety of their miserable lives.’
    • ‘Transporting captive animals entails confining them in our sense - they do not live well while cooped up - and may result in injury or death.’
    • ‘He rightly recognized that the Berlin Wall was an abomination and a poignant symbol of the chains imprisoning the captive nations of Eastern Europe.’
    • ‘These were then used to hold political prisoners captive.’
    • ‘Much of what wild animals need to know to survive is also learned behavior, which is another reason why it is notoriously difficult to reintroduce captive animals to the wild.’
    • ‘The Western Plains Zoo is now a leading centre for conservation of large mammals from all over the world as well as running captive breeding programs for Australian native birds and animals.’
    • ‘Through wire mesh, I watch the captive flocks pace out their confinement.’
    • ‘But they couldn't move, literally, held captive by a security lockdown after a U.S. airliner smashed into a residential area in Queens nearby.’
    • ‘The 64 captive tigers in China are all descendants of six wild animals seized in 1956.’
    • ‘Killing women and children, taking women captive, torturing and mutilating downed males, scalping and beheading are common practices.’
    confined, caged, incarcerated, locked up, penned up
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    1. 1.1attributive Having no freedom to choose alternatives or to avoid something.
      ‘advertisements at the movie theater reach a captive audience’
      • ‘It's just plain exploitation of a captive audience.’
      • ‘Crowds jostle and a six-piece jazz band begins to entertain the captive audience as the rain sheets down outside.’
      • ‘A Bolton Evening News reader correctly described the victims of that kind of marketing as a ‘vulnerable and captive audience’.’
      • ‘Like patients and pupils, motorists are a captive audience.’
      • ‘I don't even begrudge them the 30 minutes' worth of commercials they subjected their captive audience to.’
      • ‘The transporters take full advantage of the situation by extending sub-standard service to an almost captive clientele.’
      • ‘It's an opportunity for box holders to thank a captive audience for their loyalty, as well as fostering goodwill, generating new business and cementing working relationships.’
      • ‘It's all a scheme to build a captive audience for his lectures.’
      • ‘Given a captive audience and a good percentage of business travellers it is easy for a hotel restaurant to get complacent, not so here.’
      • ‘At its core, The Agenda is another book about how the days of selling to eager, captive customers are over.’
      • ‘Non-stop advertising to a captive audience is a marketing heaven and is exactly what our private rail networks plan to introduce very soon.’
      • ‘You have a captive audience and you have to entertain them.’
      • ‘I wanted revenge, but I could hear the suppressed laughter and snickering coming from my captive audience.’
      • ‘They're a captive audience, with no real choices and no real means to fight for their right to party.’
      • ‘Spin some tall tale which would hold their captive audience enthralled.’
      • ‘And we didn't have to act as a captive audience while an ego-maniac musician regaled us with stories of his career/tour/hobbies.’
      • ‘The company has made no secret of its intention to work with broadcasters and advertisers, and to market products directly to its 400,000-strong captive audience.’
      • ‘So he's got a captive audience out there, and he's appealing to them.’
      • ‘If it targets only a captive audience, the intelligentsia, it is an exercise in futility, he argues.’
      • ‘Again, it looks like the president is not appearing anywhere except with a captive audience in front of him.’
    2. 1.2 (of a facility or service) controlled by, and typically for the sole use of, an establishment or company.
      ‘a captive power plant’
      • ‘SDD, is a captive one, SCC being a captive supplier of SDD.’
      • ‘The USA also retains residual regulation concerning captive shippers.’
      • ‘Extended interswitching is intended to give captive shippers viable alternatives for rail transport.’
      • ‘Perhaps they would have developed a captive equipment supplier base and tried to reap all the benefits exclusively.’
      • ‘UTI Bank is to open a captive call centre to be operational in the next financial year.’
      • ‘Hundreds of companies are setting up captive insurance units in receptive states.’
      • ‘The multinational firms included those with large captive business process outsourcing centres serving parent firms abroad.’
      • ‘The issue is particularly important for non-financial firms with captive finance companies.’
      • ‘Fed up with expensive state assigned-risk pools, DDA rented a captive facility instead - and slashed its expenses by half.’
      • ‘To meet the power requirement of the plant Vedanta will construct a captive power plant with a capacity of 90 mega watt.’
      • ‘The acquired company has a steel making capacity of 1m tonne, matching mills and associated infrastructure including a captive port.’
      • ‘The number of employees working in captive or in-house IT departments of user organisations which are non-IT firms, is around 280,000.’
      • ‘Bank of America has firmed up plans to set up a captive BPO outfit in Hyderabad, which will begin operations next month.’
      • ‘Company A and Company B relied on their own captive suppliers for the development of this subsystem.’
      • ‘The option to captive offshoring is to outsource to a third party vendor abroad, something that is seen as being more cost effective and in some ways more painless.’
      • ‘Company leaders note there are independent dairy processors as well as captive dairies Dean Foods is interested in purchasing.’
      • ‘However, instead of just setting up a massive captive development centre, it wants software developers to use its platform to come out with applications.’
      • ‘During this period, HAL also transformed itself into a commercial organisation from a captive industry, with improved efficiency and productivity.’
      • ‘To avoid heavy losses, the banks had their captive securities firms package the loans and sell them as securities to the proverbial widows and orphans.’
      • ‘Among the new operations is Euro Insurances, a captive company of Lease - Plan Corporation.’
      • ‘In Delhi, there would be about 73,000 IT professionals of Indian companies doing both captive and outsourcing jobs.’
      • ‘This is a sector to watch very closely, with the industry having taken on tremendous debt loads to fund their captive finance companies.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin captivus, from capere ‘seize, take’.

Pronunciation

captive

/ˈkæptɪv//ˈkaptiv/