car·​jack·​ing | \ˈkär-ˌja-kiŋ \

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 \ -​ˌjak \ transitive verb
Several weeks after the shooting, a woman my age was carjacked there. — Susan Straight
carjacker \ -​ˌja-​kər \ 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

Upton was also booked with armed robbery in connection with a May 13 carjacking in Gentilly, according to court records. Marie Simoneaux,, "Teen accused of shooting sleeping man in Little Woods: warrant," 1 June 2018 Baltimore County Police have arrested the remaining two suspects — both girls — in the carjacking of a pregnant Baltimore County school teacher last week. Christina Tkacik,, "Two remaining suspects arrested in carjacking of pregnant Baltimore County teacher," 24 Apr. 2018 Milwaukee police are seeking a suspect in a north side carjacking that took place Sunday. D. Kwas, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee police seek suspect in north side carjacking," 24 Apr. 2018 The Friday night shooting began about 8:30 on Lime Street in Parramore, as authorities searched the suspect of a carjacking and a homicide from Thursday morning. Bianca Padró Ocasio,, "Man fatally shot by deputies believed to be homicide suspect, Orange County sheriff says," 21 Apr. 2018 The video and sketch show a suspect in a separate carjacking that occurred Friday in Forest Park, Atlanta police Sgt. Campbell Lutz, ajc, "Cops say new video, sketch connected to shooting outside wedding reception," 12 July 2018 According to police, the carjacking occurred about 2:18 p.m., shortly after a 66-year-old man parked his gray Cadillac in the 1900 block of Agriculture Street. Laura Mcknight,, "Man sought in armed carjacking on Agriculture Street: NOPD," 5 June 2018 Chicago police said Jamari Conner has been charged with the armed carjacking of a Will County judge in Chicago's Greektown on June 8, 2018 in the 100 block of South Halsted Street. Chicago Tribune,, "Teen charged with carjacking Will County judge in Greektown," 28 June 2018 The jury acquitted Scott of any role in the carjacking of a woman earlier that day. Taylor Palmby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man guilty of lesser charge in killing of Milwaukee building inspector 'Ziggy' Zyszkiewicz," 30 May 2018

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

14 Nov 2018

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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 \

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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playful or foolish behavior

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