late 14c., "made prisoner, enslaved," from Latin captivus "caught, taken prisoner," from captus, past participle of capere "to take, hold, seize" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp"). Captive audience is from 1849.
"one who is taken and kept in confinement; one who is completely in the power of another," c. 1400, from noun use of Latin captivus (see captive (adj.)). An Old English noun was hæftling, from hæft "taken, seized" (see haft (n.)), which is from the same root.
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