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 Dictionary entry overview: What does hostility mean? 

  The noun HOSTILITY has 4 senses:

1. a hostile (very unfriendly) disposition
2. a state of deep-seated ill-will
3. the feeling of a hostile person
4. violent action that is hostile and usually unprovoked

  Familiarity information: HOSTILITY used as a noun is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1hostility [BACK TO TOP]


A hostile (very unfriendly) disposition

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects


hostility; ill will

Context example:

he could not conceal his hostility

Hypernyms ("hostility" is a kind of...):

unfriendliness (an unfriendly disposition)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "hostility"):

virulence; virulency (extreme hostility)

Sense 2hostility [BACK TO TOP]


A state of deep-seated ill-will

Classified under:

Nouns denoting stable states of affairs


antagonism; enmity; hostility

Hypernyms ("hostility" is a kind of...):

state (the way something is with respect to its main attributes)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "hostility"):

latent hostility; tension (feelings of hostility that are not manifest)

state of war; war (a legal state created by a declaration of war and ended by official declaration during which the international rules of war apply)

cold war (a state of political hostility between countries using means short of armed warfare)

suspicion (the state of being suspected)

Instance hyponyms:

Cold War (a state of political hostility that existed from 1945 until 1990 between countries led by the Soviet Union and countries led by the United States)

Sense 3hostility [BACK TO TOP]


The feeling of a hostile person

Classified under:

Nouns denoting feelings and emotions


ill will; enmity; hostility

Context example:

he could no longer contain his hostility

Hypernyms ("hostility" is a kind of...):

hate; hatred (the emotion of hate; a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "hostility"):

bitterness; gall; rancor; rancour; resentment (a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will)

belligerence; belligerency (hostile or warlike attitude or nature)

aggression; aggressiveness (a feeling of hostility that arouses thoughts of attack)

antagonism (an actively expressed feeling of dislike and hostility)

class feeling (feelings of envy and resentment of one social or economic class for toward another)

animosity; animus; bad blood (a feeling of ill will arousing active hostility)

Sense 4hostility [BACK TO TOP]


Violent action that is hostile and usually unprovoked

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions


aggression; hostility

Hypernyms ("hostility" is a kind of...):

action (something done (usually as opposed to something said))

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "hostility"):

meat grinder (any action resulting in injury or destruction)

force; violence (an act of aggression (as one against a person who resists))

pillage; pillaging; plundering (the act of stealing valuable things from a place)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
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"When the axe came to the forest, the trees said: "The handle is one of us."" (Armenian proverb)

"He who kills with bullets will die by bullets." (Corsican proverb)

 HOSTILITY: related words searches 

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