Date: 1400-1500
Language: Latin
Origin: captivus, from captus, past participle of capere 'to take'


1 adjective
1 kept in prison or in a place that you are not allowed to leave:
captive soldiers
captive animals
His son had been taken captive (=became a prisoner) during the raid.
a pilot who was held captive (=kept as a prisoner) for six years

captive audience

people who listen or watch someone or something because they have to, not because they are interested

captive market

the people who must buy a particular product or service, because they need it and there is only one company selling it

be captive to something

to be unable to think or speak freely, because of being influenced too much by something:
Our communities should not be captive to the mistakes of the past.

Dictionary results for "captive"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.