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

Police also would not say how the victim was rescued, or any information about how the carjacking occurred., "Police search for suspects in Mt. Tabor carjacking and shooting," 28 Aug. 2019 Two people, suspected of a carjacking outside a Tempe WalMart then causing a multi-vehicle crash in Scottsdale now are facing murder charges, after a man involved in the crash died from his injuries, police said Wednesday. Christopher Roth, azcentral, "Suspects in carjacking, Scottsdale crash now face murder charges," 28 Aug. 2019 Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested 26-year-old Noah Ferris, of Canyon Country, following a carjacking in La Cañada after receiving a tip, according to Sgt. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Vehicle recovered, man in custody after alleged La Cañada carjacking," 12 Aug. 2019 About an hour after the carjacking occurred, emergency services arrived on the scene and found the carjacker unconscious, WCAU reported. Fox News, "Philadelphia man, neighborhood mob beats carjacker to death after suspect takes off with 3 kids: Cops," 12 July 2019 Koffi, 32, was charged with five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault on an officer and one count of carjacking, according to court records. Ashley Mcbride,, "SF tech worker charged with attempted murder in alleged drug-induced rampage," 12 July 2019 Acevedo told the station the violence came after a carjacking by the suspects. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Houston police officer wounded, suspect fatally shot in gun battle," 13 Sep. 2019 Three men are each being held on $380,000 bail after Glendale police arrested them on suspicion of committing a robbery in the city as well as a carjacking that took place in Los Angeles. Andy Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Trio arrested on suspicion of involvement in Glendale robbery and Los Angeles carjacking," 4 Sep. 2019 Ferrell said Thurston was blinded in a brutal carjacking in 2000. Bob Egelko,, "Court of Appeal rules many websites must be coded to let blind people use them," 3 Sep. 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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Dictionary Entries near carjacking



Carius method




car knocker

Statistics for carjacking

Last Updated

3 Oct 2019

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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 wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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