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 Earlier in the evening, a carjacking was reported in the 1600 block of Urquhart Street (map) of the 7th Ward. Carlie Wells,, "66-year-old woman thwarts carjacking attempt in Gentilly, police say," 12 Oct. 2020 Fort Worth police are investigating after a child was killed during a carjacking outside a hospital Sunday, police said Monday. Dana Branham, Dallas News, "Child killed during carjacking outside Fort Worth hospital, police say," 6 Oct. 2020 Mousakheel was released from prison in 2016 after serving time for an armed carjacking conviction. Wayne K. Roustan,, "‘He was just shot in the face!’: Second suspect sought in deadly Fort Lauderdale shooting," 6 Oct. 2020 Now, police are offering advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of a carjacking. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Rocky River police warn of carjacking risk as auto thefts are on the rise," 5 Oct. 2020 Authorities in Florida are searching for two armed carjacking suspects caught on home security video confronting a driver who had just pulled up to his Orlando-area home Monday night. Fox News, "Violent Florida carjacking in front of man's home captured on video," 3 Oct. 2020 The second happened minutes later when Hengel allegedly forced a woman out of her car in an armed carjacking at the intersection of Stillwater Avenue and Hazel Street North in St. Paul. Erin Adler, Star Tribune, "BCA identifies man shot by police during St. Cloud confrontation," 30 Sep. 2020 Investigators discovered that type of vehicle had been stolen Sept. 1 in a carjacking where the driver was shot. Stefanie Dazio, USA TODAY, "'He obviously hates policemen': Alleged gang member charged with ambush shooting of 2 Los Angeles deputies," 30 Sep. 2020 He was arrested earlier this month and charged with shooting a man during a carjacking, Los Angeles County District Jackie Lacey said. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Police identify and charge man with shooting two deputies, and he was already in custody," 30 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler for carjacking

Time Traveler

The first known use of carjacking was in 1991

See more words from the same year

Statistics for carjacking

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carjacking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!