take hostage

(redirected from taken someone 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 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
References in periodicals archive ?
ARMED police swooped on a Stockton estate during an eight-hour siege with a man who claimed he had taken someone hostage.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman later added: "Police were called to Gladstone Street in Stockton to a report of a man claiming to have taken someone hostage before 2am.
Police at the house in Gladstone Street, Stockton, where a man allegedly claimed to have taken someone hostage STUART HINCKS
He is believed to have taken someone hostage at a flat on Buchanan Street some time before 6pm, causing a stand-off with armed police, fire crews and at least three ambulances.
How could he have taken someone hostage without exercising military authority in the shire?