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

Other Words from carjacking

carjack \ ˈkär-​ˌjak How to pronounce carjacking (audio) \ transitive verb carjacked; carjacking; carjacks
Several weeks after the shooting, a woman my age was carjacked there. — Susan Straight
carjacker \ ˈkär-​ˌja-​kər How to pronounce carjacking (audio) \ noun, plural carjackers
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 Even if Washington doesn't rake in a ton of wins this season, the first has already been secured given rookie RB Brian Robinson escaped serious injury after getting shot in an apparent carjacking. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2022 Police have not identified a suspect in the carjacking. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 8 June 2022 Two people were shot early Wednesday in the Logan Heights neighborhood during an apparent carjacking, San Diego police said. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 June 2022 Brown said authorities tried to stop the Honda Accord after police in the nearby city of Oak Park said it was used in a May 17 carjacking. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, 20 May 2022 And on Tuesday evening, a 16-year-old suspect was arrested alongside an adult in the carjacking of a Baltimore police detective outside a Cherry Hill convenience store. Lea Skene, Baltimore Sun, 4 May 2022 As a 12-year-old in Lagos, Nigeria, Awotona witnessed his father get shot and killed in a carjacking. Matt Durot, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2022 The gun was stolen during an armed carjacking on Dec. 2. Fox News, 22 Feb. 2022 An 18-year-old has been charged in a carjacking that led to a five-mile chase through Birmingham and sent to police officers to the hospital. Carol Robinson |, al, 31 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of carjacking

1991, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for carjacking

car + hijack + -ing

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Time Traveler for carjacking

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The first known use of carjacking was in 1991

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Dictionary Entries Near carjacking

Carius method



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Statistics for carjacking

Last Updated

19 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Carjacking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for carjacking


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


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