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 Investigators are looking into the possibility Blanchard was kidnapped during a carjacking. Carol Robinson |, al, "Aniah Blanchard kidnapping suspect Ibraheem Yazeed captured by U.S. Marshals in Pensacola," 8 Nov. 2019 During the hearing, Adam Biggs, a lawyer with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, highlighted the case of Brandon Bell, a 17-year-old who had been arrested in Houston last month after being accused of a carjacking. Washington Post, "Fate of deal to settle Houston-area bail lawsuit with judge," 28 Oct. 2019 Two men arrested for a carjacking in September and linked to a homicide that same day now face second-degree murder charges, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Grace Toohey,, "Brothers accused of carjacking in Orange County now face murder charges in nearby slaying," 27 Sep. 2019 Additionally, the city's own crime database has, currently, only two reports of carjackings between December 2016 and present. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit City Council approves $4 million for Real Time Crime Center," 23 July 2019 That year, the city logged about 1,000 carjackings, the highest number in at least a decade, according to police statistics. Alejandro Serrano,, "Two given 11 years in federal prison each for carjacking in Goose Island neighborhood," 31 July 2019 Alexander is charged with carjacking, battery on a person age 65 or older and grand theft of a motor vehicle, Orange County court records show. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "He carjacked an elderly man, deputies say. But they say he couldn't drive a stick shift," 18 July 2019 Moreno-Berrios is charged with carjacking, malicious damage to property and five traffic violations. USA TODAY, "‘Molly of Denali,’ saloon discourse, ashes by mail: News from around our 50 states," 10 July 2019 Brandon Deonte Washington is facing several charges, including resisting arrest, leaving the scene of a crash, carjacking, grand theft and kidnapping after separate robberies in Orange and Seminole counties within an hour of each other. Cristóbal Reyes,, "Sanford cops arrest man suspected of 2 carjackings across 2 counties in 1 hour," 2 July 2019

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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Statistics for carjacking

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for carjacking

The first known use of carjacking was in 1991

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More Definitions for carjacking


How to pronounce carjacking (audio)

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

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to speed up the process or progress of

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