car·​jack·​ing | \ ˈkär-ˌja-kiŋ How to pronounce carjacking (audio) \

Definition of carjacking

: the theft of an automobile from its driver by force or intimidation In the cities and suburbs, where muggings and carjackings are a daily concern, voters are wondering how many of the nation's 200 million guns are pointed at them.— Richard Lacayo … Congress made a show of getting tough on crime by making armed carjackings a federal crime.— Janet Novack

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Other Words from carjacking

carjack \ ˈkär-​ˌjak How to pronounce carjack (audio) \ transitive verb
Several weeks after the shooting, a woman my age was carjacked there. — Susan Straight
carjacker \ ˈkär-​ˌja-​kər How to pronounce carjacker (audio) \ noun
If you're confronted by a carjacker, be cooperative. The big picture: It's your car versus your life. — Amy Lumet

Examples of carjacking in a Sentence

The police are investigating another carjacking.

Recent Examples on the Web

Two men were arrested early Tuesday after leading police on a pursuit following a carjacking in northwest Houston, according to police. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "Suspect out on bond for capital murder charge arrested in carjacking at Houston apartment," 2 July 2019 The person who was in the vehicle with Sparks before the carjacking apparently was not involved in the crime and has not been charged. Carol Robinson |,, "Woman charged in death of man who was carjacked, beaten and fatally run over by off-duty officer," 27 June 2019 Dave Dunbar told IndyStar the driver was in the neighborhood to deliver packages when the carjacking happened. Indianapolis Star, "Carjacker steals Amazon delivery van with packages in Fishers, police say," 25 June 2019 Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has said the task force and interaction with federal investigators has resulted in more carjacking cases being brought in federal court, in part for the tougher sentences. Jason Meisner,, "Chicago man charged for rash of carjackings, faces potential life in prison," 25 May 2018 Portis and Brown are scheduled for sentencing in the federal carjacking case May 17 before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier. Mark Schleifstein,, "Man fatally shot in Holy Cross neighborhood," 3 Feb. 2018 Shots were fired on Old Hapeville Road when an Atlanta police officer attempted to stop a car reported stolen during an earlier carjacking. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "In 6 hours, 3 officer-involved shootings in metro Atlanta," 20 June 2018 New Orleans investigators on Monday (April 9) released an image of a man suspected in a Gentilly carjacking that took place during a drug deal gone awry, according to the NOPD. Laura Mcknight,, "Image shows man accused of stealing car during botched drug deal," 10 Apr. 2018 Another student witnessed the carjacking and police reviewed surveillance footage from the high school, confirming the student's statement. Adam Ferrise,, "St. Ignatius student carjacked in school parking lot after lacrosse tryouts, police say," 23 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carjacking.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of carjacking

1991, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for carjacking

car + hijack + -ing

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Dictionary Entries near carjacking



Carius method




car knocker

Statistics for carjacking

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for carjacking

The first known use of carjacking was in 1991

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More Definitions for carjacking



English Language Learners Definition of carjacking

: the crime of using violence or threats to steal a car from its driver or to force the driver to take you someplace


car·​jack·​ing | \ ˈkär-ˌja-kiŋ How to pronounce carjacking (audio) \

Legal Definition of carjacking

: theft by force or intimidation of an auto that has a driver or passenger present

More from Merriam-Webster on carjacking

Spanish Central: Translation of carjacking

Comments on carjacking

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


to complain fretfully

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