Definition of hostile in US English:



  • 1Unfriendly; antagonistic.

    ‘a hostile audience’
    ‘he wrote a ferociously hostile attack’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their right of defence was curtailed by interruptions from the judge and the apparently hand-picked audience of hostile spectators.’
    • ‘In that case, a hostile audience member asked him, what are you doing to prevent obesity?’
    • ‘She was angry and hostile because she felt out of control and scared.’
    • ‘The situation he's referring to is an Opposition-controlled Parliament and a hostile media.’
    • ‘But his father's manner when he met him at the station, Danny recalled, was all wrong: hostile and aggressive.’
    • ‘A couple of months before he died, he became very hostile, very angry and he complained of horrible headaches.’
    • ‘Greenock's attack was far from hostile and slipshod strokeplay accounted for the demise of the home side.’
    • ‘But it was clear last night that the proposals would face hostile opposition from some health professionals and parents' groups.’
    • ‘Interesting idea here: why are the dogs antisocial, hostile, and aggressive?’
    • ‘The speech, an argument against the enslavement of women, was to be directed to a hostile audience of whites.’
    • ‘And they have recognised that the movement must be built in the face of hostile opposition from a Labour government.’
    • ‘If they don't get attacked by a hostile neighbour they will perish from sheer want.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘John Redwood congratulated the BBC journalist for his courage in speaking before such a hostile audience.’
    • ‘I have often observed that political extremist of all stripes are often very angry and hostile people.’
    • ‘Another woman in another hostile TV audience revealed his ignorance about the difficulties of making appointments to see a GP.’
    • ‘On the other hand, it meant that some of his ideas provoked hostile opposition, while others were greeted with incomprehension or indifference.’
    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’
      • ‘And what message would Allende have sent to a hostile military had he refused the aid?’
      • ‘I wonder how long it took before the crew of the stealth aircraft realised that those blips were incoming hostile aircraft?’
      • ‘We shouldn't interpret this yet as moving toward enemy status or hostile status.’
      • ‘American generals have the power to order the destruction of any hostile aircraft, if they do not have time to contact senior politicians.’
      • ‘The video shows what the U.S. Military calls a legitimate strike against hostile forces.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At least 80 troops are listed simply as killed in enemy or hostile action.’
      • ‘Then the official line changed to claiming that the aircraft had come under ‘sustained and hostile fire’.’
      • ‘The company suffered a large number of casualties from the intense hostile fire while fighting its way out of the ambush.’
      • ‘They would patrol the river and attack any hostile unit that was stupid enough to enter their sights.’
      • ‘The US-backed security forces are capable only of sporadic raids into the hostile countryside and attacks on them are increasing.’
      • ‘The accident was under investigation, though the military did say no hostile fire was involved.’
      • ‘This can create some interesting maneuvers as Rayne takes on nearby enemies while evading hostile fire.’
      • ‘The Patriot system identified the aircraft as a hostile anti-radiation missile and duly brought it down, killing both crew members.’
      • ‘Military officials do not believe the crash was caused by hostile fire.’
      • ‘Units of troops might have become separated and subject to attack by hostile or friendly forces.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The military said Wednesday that the aircraft appeared to have been brought down by hostile fire.’
    2. 1.2predicative Opposed.
      ‘people are very hostile to the idea’
      • ‘He had opposed the Second Boer War, and was likewise initially hostile to the concept in August 1914.’
      • ‘Change to them would be an anathema and hostile to their kind of political culture so why should they really want Vision 2020?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is deeply hostile to religion, but finds it useful.’
      • ‘Of course, the media is hostile to nationalism in Scotland and gives the SNP a hard time, but that has always been the case.’
      • ‘On the other, they are hostile to hard work and always on the look out for an easy buck.’
      • ‘Globalization simply means freedom of movement for goods and people, and it is hard to be violently hostile to that.’
      • ‘It doesn't oppose science, but is merely hostile to the idea that human beings can be defined solely by what science calibrates.’
      • ‘But at the time I was so hostile to the system I didn't realize that they were trying to cooperate with me.’
      • ‘People should not live in an environment that is hostile to human rights, humanitarianism, human nature and human feelings.’
      • ‘I will not, however, approve any ads that I deem to be racist, vulgar, or hostile to my religious beliefs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The idea that there is a school, a group of people, who believe that any multilateralism is hostile to American interests is simply wrong.’
      • ‘The book purports to recount the history of gun ownership in America and is written with a slant that is hostile to gun ownership.’
      • ‘That is why housing worker unions such as Unison are hostile to the plans and yesterday angrily began their campaign for a ‘no’ vote.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Russia and China were openly hostile to the plan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At least 70% of women are hostile to war under almost any circumstances.’
      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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It marks the first time a foreign company has launched a hostile takeover bid for a mainland company.’
      • ‘Bradford and Bingley is protected from a hostile takeover for five years following flotation.’
      • ‘In October 2003, First Active will lose its five-year long protection from hostile takeover.’
      • ‘A hostile takeover occurs when a company buys a controlling share of a target company.’
      • ‘In the late 1970s, Ansett became the target of hostile takeover bids.’
      • ‘Industry observers say there have been no other successful hostile takeovers of a large European bank.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Irish software firm Riverdeep is a prime target for a hostile takeover bid, according to industry analysts.’
      • ‘Grubman knew Ebbers, and even advised him on the hostile takeover of MCI.’
      • ‘Cable company Comcast sprang a hostile takeover bid on Disney on February 11.’
      • ‘PeopleSoft has also sued Oracle in connection with the hostile takeover bid.’
      • ‘China Development's action would be described as a hostile takeover bid in tender offer terms.’
      • ‘Unocal said its board would consider the hostile takeover bid.’
      • ‘Such foreign direct investment is less about hostile takeovers than about friendly acquisitions.’
      • ‘When there was hostile takeover bid, the town held prayer meetings for their corporation.’
      • ‘Evidently, market conditions have been kinder to Peoplesoft, even though it is the subject of a hostile takeover bid.’
      • ‘A hostile takeover would be all but impossible under Heineken's current ownership structure.’
      • ‘Fearing hostile takeovers and falling share prices, firms seem to become overly fixated on quarterly returns.’


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