Definition for HOS'TAGE

HOS'TAGE, n. [Fr. ├┤tage, for ostage; It. ostaggio; Arm. ostaich; G. geissel; W. gwystyl, a pledge, pawn, surety, hostage.]

A person delivered to an enemy or hostile power, as a pledge to secure the performance of the conditions of a treaty or stipulations of any kind, and on the performance of which the person is to be released. Bacon. Atterbury.

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