Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

kidnap

play
verb kid·nap \ˈkid-ˌnap\

Simple Definition of kidnap

  • : to take away (someone) by force usually in order to keep the person as a prisoner and demand money for returning the person

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of kidnap

kidnapped also kidnapedplay \-ˌnapt\kidnapping also kidnaping

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom

kidnappee or kidnapee play \ˌkid-ˌna-ˈpē\ noun
kidnapper also kidnaper noun

Examples of kidnap in a sentence

  1. <the child of the wealthy industrialist was kidnapped and held for ransom>



Origin of kidnap

probably back-formation from kidnapper, from kid + obsolete napper thief


First Known Use: 1682


KIDNAP Defined for Kids

kidnap

play
verb kid·nap \ˈkid-ˌnap\

Definition of kidnap for Students

kidnapped \-ˌnapt\kidnapping

  1. :  to carry away a person by force or by fraud and against his or her will

kidnapper noun



Law Dictionary

kidnap

play
transitive verb kid·nap \ˈkid-ˌnap\

Legal Definition of kidnap

kidnapped or kidnaped \-ˌnapt\ play kidnapping or kidnaping \-ˌna-piŋ\

  1. :  to seize and confine or carry away by force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom

kidnapper or kidnaper \-ˌna-pər\ noun


Origin of kidnap

probably back-formation from kidnapper, from kid child + obsolete napper thief



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up kidnap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to work hard

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin prompt angry oily
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ