hostage


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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

take hostage

1. To hold someone captive and threaten violence to them in order to prevent another party (e.g. the police) from using force or in order to create leverage so that another party will agree to meet some demand. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "hostage." The bank robber took several people hostage in order to negotiate a means of escape with the police. The criminals have taken hostage the daughter of a prominent businesswoman.
2. To assume constraining, limiting control over something in order create leverage to achieve something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "hostage." The political party has taken the funding bill hostage so it can push through its controversial agenda. It just feels like the company is taking our job security hostage to make us work unreasonable hours.
See also: hostage, take

take hostages

To hold people captive and threaten violence to them in order to prevent another party (e.g. the police) from using force or in order to create leverage so that another party will agree to meet some demand. Police are not sure yet whether the criminals have taken any hostages. We might get a year or two in prison for robbing the joint, but they're going to throw us away for a long time if we start taking hostages.
See also: hostage, take

hold (one) hostage

To keep one somewhere without their permission or consent, as in a robbery or similar situation. Yeah, but if the bank robbers start holding civilians hostage, we'll have a much bigger crisis on our hands.
See also: hold, 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 ?
Since during the hostage taking, Elvin Ibrahimov was wounded in the leg as a result of the shooting of Armenian soldiers, and because he underwent several operations while being held hostage, he was urgently taken to a hospital.
To make the story short, the escapees agreed to peacefully end the stand-off and released their hostages.
The attacker then ran out of the restaurant and went to a pharmacy in the vicinity, where he took the woman hostage, according to Sputnik.
Police were able to enter the building after one of the hostages opened the door for them, Kharkiv regional prosecutor Yuriy Danylchenko told reporters.
'While (Sumalpong) was helping the wounded hostage, I saw that there were more hostages inside the building.
He said Pakistani troops detected two vehicles, carrying the hostages, and stopped them when the security personal fired on tyres of one of the vehicles.
A 19-year-old man who attempted to rob an Alabama Credit Union branch and held employees as hostages with a BB gun pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to bank robbery and taking hostages during the commission of a bank robbery, U.S.
The hostage-taker opened fire as the police raided the house where he was lodged with his hostages,
PARyS (CyHAN)- The terrorists who took hostages at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris wanted to get in touch with local television channels, French media reported citing one of the hostages who survived Friday's ordeal.
The changes, which also include the creation of an interagency "fusion cell" to streamline efforts to free American hostages and improve communication between the government and families, follow a months-long review of U.S.
BEIRUT: Doubts have been cast over claims that at least nine Lebanese servicemen being held hostage by ISIS militants were relocated to the group's stronghold in Syria, parties involved in the negotiations told The Daily Star.
ON DECEMBER 15, 2014, at 9:45 a.m., Man Haron Monis walked into the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney's central business district and took 17 people hostage. Shortly thereafter, images of the hostages holding up a black flag with Arabic script captured the world's attention, leaving little doubt about the hostage-taker's motives.
Reports revealed the events leading to the death of the Lindt Cafe manager and the gunman during the fateful hostage drama early Tuesday morning.
NNA - The families of the military hostages on Friday pledged "unexpected" moves and held the Lebanese state fully responsible incase terrorists decide to kill another hostage.
As a "repercussion" of the bloody 10-hour hostage-taking incident where both the hostage-taker and the hostage died, San Juan Chief of Police (CoP) Sr.