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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 The day after the incidents, police said the boy suspected in the unsuccessful carjackings was in the custody of the Chicago Police Department, though charges had yet to be filed. Steve Schering,, "Chicago boy charged in two attempted carjackings in Oak Park: police," 3 July 2018 Paul Driscoll, 37, of Boston, was charged with resisting arrest, threatening to commit a crime, two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and two counts of armed carjacking. Laney Ruckstuhl,, "Man threatens police and pedestrians with knife during wild confrontation in South Boston," 7 May 2018 Joe Iozzi said the teens involved in the carjacking also smashed open the front glass door to Phone World, 749 N. 14th St., which was closed at the time. Stephen Hudak,, "'I was so scared,' Leesburg carjacking victim says after Orlando teens take her SUV," 9 Apr. 2018 Cleveland and Mansfield police, U.S. Marshals and the Southeast Area Law Enforcement Task Force assisted in the investigation into the Solon carjacking, police said. Evan Macdonald,, "Four suspects arrested in Solon carjacking of man delivering Amazon packages," 9 Mar. 2018 Rodney Brown, 22, pleaded guilty to carjacking, while Michael Portis, 27, pleaded guilty to brandishing a gun during a violent crime. Mark Schleifstein,, "Man fatally shot in Holy Cross neighborhood," 3 Feb. 2018 Twenty teens were charged in carjackings last year in the city, police said. Evan Macdonald,, "Teen charged in Cleveland Heights armed robbery," 24 Jan. 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.

See More

First Known Use of carjacking

1991, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for carjacking

car + hijack + -ing

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about carjacking

Dictionary Entries near carjacking



Carius method




car knocker

Statistics for carjacking

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for carjacking

The first known use of carjacking was in 1991

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!