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a prisoner.
a person who is enslaved or dominated; slave:
He is the captive of his own fears.
made or held prisoner, especially in war:
captive troops.
kept in confinement or restraint:
captive animals.
enslaved by love, beauty, etc.; captivated:
her captive beau.
of or relating to a captive.
managed as an affiliate or subsidiary of a corporation and operated almost exclusively for the use or needs of the parent corporation rather than independently for the general public:
a captive shop; a captive mine.
Contemporary Examples

Vendor financing is a time-honored way of keeping customers close and captive.
Dell’s Unlikely Suitor: Behind Microsoft’s $2 Billion Buy In Daniel Gross February 4, 2013

Tebbutt, however, remains alive and captive in central Somalia, after a pirate gang purchased her from her abductors.
Somalia Pirates Adopt Troubling New Tactics Jay Bahadur, Venetia Archer January 30, 2012

Meanwhile, the bandsmen of his captive army played a “melancholy” tune on drums and fifes.
Washington in Victory Piers Brendon October 9, 2008

“This is kind of a captive audience,” explained Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.
Seattle Police Hand Out Doritos at Hempfest Winston Ross August 17, 2013

They have a captive market, after all–if you want to do well in a course, it’s hard not to buy the textbook.
No Matter What the Supreme Court Decides, Textbooks Will Continue to Be Expensive Megan McArdle October 29, 2012

Historical Examples

It was idle; a magic seems to shield a captive’s leap for life.
The Cavalier George Washington Cable

Shortly after, the captive Duke was one morning found weeping.
Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II Charlotte Mary Yonge

At his feet crouched a warrior, probably a captive or rebel.
The World’s Greatest Books, Volume 19 Various

“Evidently they fell out about the possession of the captive,” suggested von Horn.
The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs

It was about the movement of a captive planet, or something like that.
The Space Pioneers Carey Rockwell

a person or animal that is confined or restrained, esp a prisoner of war
a person whose behaviour is dominated by some emotion: a captive of love
held as prisoner
held under restriction or control; confined: captive water held behind a dam
captivated; enraptured
unable by circumstances to avoid speeches, advertisements, etc (esp in the phrase captive audience)

late 14c., “imprisoned, enslaved,” from Latin captivus “caught, taken prisoner,” from captus, past participle of capere “to take, hold, seize” (see capable). As a noun from c.1400; an Old English noun was hæftling, from hæft “taken, seized.”

one taken in war. Captives were often treated with great cruelty and indignity (1 Kings 20:32; Josh. 10:24; Judg. 1:7; 2 Sam. 4:12; Judg. 8:7; 2 Sam. 12:31; 1 Chr. 20:3). When a city was taken by assault, all the men were slain, and the women and children carried away captive and sold as slaves (Isa. 20; 47:3; 2 Chr. 28:9-15; Ps. 44:12; Joel 3:3), and exposed to the most cruel treatment (Nah. 3:10; Zech. 14:2; Esther 3:13; 2 Kings 8:12; Isa. 13:16, 18). Captives were sometimes carried away into foreign countries, as was the case with the Jews (Jer. 20:5; 39:9, 10; 40:7).


Read Also:

  • Captive audience

    Listeners or onlookers who have no choice but to attend. For example, It’s a required course and, knowing he has a captive audience, the professor rambles on endlessly. This expression, first recorded in 1902, uses captive in the sense of “unable to escape.” Contemporary Examples “This is kind of a captive audience,” explained Sgt. Sean […]

  • Captive balloon

    noun a lighter-than-air balloon secured to the ground by a tether, often used for military exercises Historical Examples I painted this picture of the battle of the Aisne from a captive balloon. The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 Various The racing was uninteresting, and presently Angela suggested that we should […]

  • Captivity

    the state or period of being held, imprisoned, enslaved, or confined. (initial capital letter) Babylonian captivity. Contemporary Examples If you found yourself on the losing side of a tribal war, odds are good you would be sold into captivity. Slavery As ‘Innovation’ and Other Provocative Ideas: What I Learned From Henry Louis Gates’s ‘Many Rivers […]

  • Captopril

    a white to whitish crystalline powder, C 9 H 15 NO 3 S, used as an antihypertensive. noun an ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure captopril cap·to·pril (kāp’tə-prĭl’) n. A drug used in the treatment of hypertension that functions by inhibiting the enzymes that activate angiotensin.

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