Hostility and depression are important factors associated with suicide attempts. Efforts to determine their respective importance, however, have been hindered because they are correlated to some extent with each other and with age and sex. The authors compared 29 acutely depressed women and 29 matched suicide attempters. Manifest hostility emerged as an important distinguishing characteristic of the suicide attempters, who had pervasive and overtly hostile relationships, a poor long-term work history, antisocial behavior, and were demanding and hostile during psychiatric interview. This contrasted with the depressives, who were compliant at interview. The theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.