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 carjacking (audio) \ transitive verb
Several weeks after the shooting, a woman my age was carjacked there. — Susan Straight
carjacker \ ˈkär-​ˌja-​kər How to pronounce carjacking (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 Three minors from the District were arrested Friday and charged in an armed carjacking in the 1200 block of New Jersey Avenue SE. Washington Post, 12 July 2021 The suspect in a Grapevine carjacking during which an Uber driver was stabbed multiple times has died in a traffic accident. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 25 May 2021 The owner said the vehicle was stolen in a carjacking in Cleveland when he was lured back into South Euclid while posing as a marijuana buyer. cleveland, 14 May 2021 The younger one was driving a vehicle that had been taken in a carjacking in Oakland on Monday, according to San Leandro police. NBC News, 13 May 2021 Officers chased Thomas on foot to the area of Cherry Lane and Baltimore Avenue, where Thomas committed a carjacking at gunpoint, police said. Katie V. Jones,, 10 May 2021 He's also charged with a carjacking in which a man was shot in the leg and his Mercedes-Benz stolen. CNN, 2 May 2021 Krewson, whose husband was fatally shot in a 1995 carjacking, ran in 2017 on a pledge to battle crime, but the city saw a staggering increase in killings during the coronavirus pandemic. Jim Salter, USA TODAY, 7 Apr. 2021 Krewson had a personal connection to the violence -- her husband was fatally shot in a 1995 carjacking. Jim Salter, Star Tribune, 6 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for carjacking

Time Traveler

The first known use of carjacking was in 1991

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Dictionary Entries Near carjacking



Carius method




car knocker

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Statistics for carjacking

Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Carjacking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carjacking


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