|n.||1.||A person given as a pledge or security for the performance of the conditions of a treaty or stipulations of any kind, on the performance of which the person is to be released.|
|Noun||1.||hostage - a prisoner who is held by one party to insure that another party will meet specified terms|
HOSTAGE. A person delivered into the possession of a public enemy in the
time of war, as a security for the performance of a contract entered into
between the belligerents.
2. Hostages are frequently given as a security for the payment of a ransom bill, and if they should die, their death would not discharge the contract. 3 Burr. 1734; 1 Kent, Com. 106; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.