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Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: hoste; HOST1

hostage

noun
     
hos‧tage [countable]
1 someone who is kept as a prisoner by an enemy so that the other side will do what the enemy demands [↪ kidnap]:
The group are holding two tourists hostage (=keeping them as hostages).
a family taken hostage at gunpoint
2

be (a) hostage to something

to be influenced and controlled by something, so that you are not free to do what you want:
Our country must not be held hostage to our past.
3

a hostage to fortune

something that you have promised to do which may cause you problems in the future

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