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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.