Definition of hostility in US English:



  • 1Hostile behavior; unfriendliness or opposition.

    ‘their hostility to all outsiders’
    • ‘People are much more good than bad, I thought, tending more to friendship than hostility.’
    • ‘Frostrup faced the same hostility when she was on the judging panel of the 1999 Booker prize.’
    • ‘The rapprochement is remarkable because of the depth of the previous hostility between the two men.’
    • ‘This climate of hostility affects us all, but most especially impacts those who reside overseas.’
    • ‘There was no hostility towards me, they had no interest in me, all they wanted to do was throw things at the police.’
    • ‘In fact they will probably go along with it, not wanting to attract further hostility from the military.’
    • ‘To add injustice to the stressful wait is a recipe for disaster that can lead to hostility.’
    • ‘Public hostility to artworks isn't in itself anything that the artist should be pleased about.’
    • ‘Both, however, had long since exchanged hustle and hostility for control and variation.’
    • ‘It is time to punish journalists, for creating a climate of racism and hostility toward migration.’
    • ‘Thus in spite of any improvements in the early years, there was always public hostility to contend with.’
    • ‘He hadn't said anything nasty to the young man and there was no hostility between them.’
    • ‘That is why even a kids' film like The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe can provoke such hostility.’
    • ‘Any identity built on hostility to others can change the object of its hostility as easily as a man changes his coat.’
    • ‘At that time my enthusiasm met a cold blast of indifference or hostility from most of the people I talked to about it.’
    • ‘Such was the anger and hostility among the callers that one official refused to take any more calls.’
    • ‘He said he has met with frequent hostility and criticism from many locals for the work he is doing.’
    • ‘The decision was made against a backdrop of outright hostility towards Lisa from staff at her station.’
    • ‘She believes women themselves have shown hostility to reversing this trend.’
    • ‘The level of hostility we encountered was about what we expected, at first at least.’
    antagonism, unfriendliness, bitterness, malevolence, malice, unkindness, spite, spitefulness, rancour, rancorousness, venom, wrath, anger, hatred
    opposition, antagonism, animosity, antipathy, animus, ill will, ill feeling, bad feeling, resentment, aversion, enmity, inimicalness
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    1. 1.1hostilities Acts of warfare.
      ‘he called for an immediate cessation of hostilities’
      • ‘A wreath will be laid at the Cenotaph in memory of those who died in the hostilities, as young and old come together to honour the fallen.’
      • ‘Three men were killed before the two sides agreed to end their hostilities.’
      • ‘VE Day passed by with little impact on those still engaged in hostilities in the Far East.’
      • ‘Under the law of war, enemy combatants may be detained until the end of hostilities.’
      • ‘Her arrival sparked a feud that flared into open hostilities last week between herself and the local mayor.’
      • ‘In fact, Western intervention in the Balkans exacerbated tensions and sustained hostilities.’
      • ‘He asked his forces to lay down their arms and called on the Vietcong to halt all hostilities.’
      • ‘Without them and the floating cities of the other major powers, would the course of hostilities have been different?’
      • ‘They add that POWs are supposed to be released when hostilities end.’
      • ‘She had spent the war years in Australia, but returned to the city of her birth immediately after hostilities had ceased.’
      • ‘Many of those people know perfectly well that they will be engaged in hostilities.’
      • ‘So hopes of a quick snap-back to status quo ante at the end of hostilities quite misread the situation.’
      • ‘Plans were made for a second campaign but renewed hostilities in Gaul delayed action until the following year.’
      • ‘The castle was returned to the Bradfords at the end of hostilities.’
      • ‘They directed their bombers to demolish the northern complex a few days before the end of hostilities.’
      • ‘But this year's spring optimism may have been boosted by an early conclusion to hostilities.’
      • ‘It is not known if they complained before hostilities broke out.’
      • ‘Under the laws of war, they can be detained until the conflict, or at least actual hostilities, are concluded.’
      • ‘After a week of silence the fight was rescheduled and the hostilities between the two continued.’
      • ‘The analyst said it was too early to say whether this outbreak of hostilities would hit profits at Souter's company.’
      fighting, conflict, armed conflict, combat, warfare, war, bloodshed, violence, action, military action, battles, strife
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Late Middle English: from French hostilité or late Latin hostilitas, from Latin hostilis (see hostile).