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[ho-stil-i-tee] /hɒˈstɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural hostilities.
a hostile state, condition, or attitude; enmity; antagonism; unfriendliness.
a hostile act.
opposition or resistance to an idea, plan, project, etc.
  1. acts of warfare.
  2. war.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English hostilite < Latin hostīlitās. See hostile, -ity
Related forms
nonhostility, noun
overhostility, noun
prehostility, noun, plural prehostilities.
semihostility, noun
1. animosity, animus, ill will, hatred. 4. fighting, conflict.
1. friendliness. 4. peace. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hostilities
  • Your hostilities say more about you than about the object of your criticism.
  • The end of fighting did not bring an end to hostilities.
  • The decision to use oil as a weapon was made prior to the opening of hostilities.
  • Sometimes it fades into the background as cease-fires or negotiations quiet the hostilities.
  • Let's keep hostilities aside, and let's try to study a bit of each other's discipline, for the results can only be better.
  • There had been a lull in the winter, but with the spring hostilities set in.
  • The coward may begin hostilities, but the brave are left to shed their blood in the quarrel.
  • He could not stay in this ravine in concealment until the end of hostilities.
  • He should choose her as his running mate to help soothe the still escalating intra-party hostilities.
  • The hostilities run as deep as the indignation on both sides.
British Dictionary definitions for hostilities


noun (pl) -ties
enmity or antagonism
an act expressing enmity or opposition
(pl) fighting; warfare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hostilities



early 15c., from Middle French hostilité "enmity" (15c.), or directly from Late Latin hostilitatem (nominative hostilitas) "enmity," from Latin hostilis, from hostis "enemy" (see guest). Hostilities in the sense of "warfare" attested from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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