hostage


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give hostage to fortune

To do or say something that could jeopardize future success or cause misfortune later on. With the economy at such a precarious level at the moment, the president made it clear that he would take no action that would give hostage to fortune.
See also: fortune, give, hostage

hostage to fortune

An act or situation that could create future problems. A company that publicly supports an unpopular political stance often creates a hostage to fortune.
See also: fortune, hostage

hold someone hostage

to keep someone as a hostage. The terrorists planned to hold everyone hostage in the airplane. My neighbor was held hostage in his own home by a robber.
See also: hold, hostage

take someone hostage

to kidnap or seize someone to be a hostage. The terrorists planned to take the ambassador hostage. The entire family was taken hostage by the robber.
See also: hostage, take

a hostage to fortune

mainly BRITISH
If someone or something is a hostage to fortune, they have created a situation where bad things may happen to them in the future. Charles had already made himself a hostage to fortune by declaring that 30 was a suitable age to settle down. The proposals were regarded by some as a dangerous hostage to fortune. Note: You can also say that someone gives a hostage to fortune or creates a hostage to fortune if they do something that may cause trouble in the future. Despite persistent questioning, he gave no hostages to fortune in the form of a timetable. Note: Other verbs may be used instead of give or create. By opting for the best, the council recognises that it may have handed a hostage to fortune. Many departments may find it difficult to achieve the new standards that have been set for them. Note: This expression comes from an essay by Francis Bacon, `Of Marriage and Single Life' (1625): `He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune.'
See also: fortune, hostage

a hostage to fortune

an act, commitment, or remark which is regarded as unwise because it invites trouble or could prove difficult to live up to.
The original hostages to fortune were a man's family, the allusion being to Francis Bacon's essay on marriage ( 1625 ): ‘He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune’.
See also: fortune, hostage

a ˌhostage to ˈfortune

an action which may cause you great trouble in the future: Are you really sure you want to know who your real mother is? It may be taking a hostage to fortune, you know.
See also: fortune, hostage
References in periodicals archive ?
LOS ANGELES, June 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Chris Voss, America's best-known hostage negotiator, who served for four (4) years as the F.
According to the AP, the British Embassy confirmed it had received a tape of one of the British hostages.
He insisted that making payments in return for the release of hostages would only encourage further incidents.
We are demanding the immediate release of the hostages.
Since the beginning of this year, militant groups have attacked oil pipelines and taken oil workers hostage in violence that has cut about 25% from the country's usual crude output of about 2.
1) A pair of FBI hostage negotiators (Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt) must remain objective on the job, despite their romantic relationship, in ``Standoff,'' premiering tonight.
He told the audience that he was aware of the toll that abductions exact on the families of hostages.
This led the BOP to develop hostage negotiation teams with differentiated roles, formal training and specialized equipment.
The exercise scenario involved various military, civilian, county, state and federal agencies working together during an immediate terrorist crisis involving explosives, casualties and hostages.
Yesterday the group of housewives, journalists, civil servants and even an Army general made the offer to take their place as hostages.
After the first hostage was shot, Georgy recalled, "everyone screamed, and I felt sick inside.
On March 17, 2000, an accused murderer went to the apartment of his estranged girlfriend's mother and took her, her boyfriend, and their son hostage.
In a May 6 telegram, the pope condemned the "abominable attack" May 5 that led to the deaths of a provincial governor and a former Colombian defense minister held hostage for more than a year, as well as eight soldiers held hostage, some for as long as four years.
The author of the work, who as it happens doesn't exist in reality, was given to imagining himself as the sixth and only Arab hostage.