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

Another man was stabbed to death in a carjacking that night as the van driver made his getaway, and a woman died early the next day in a vehicle-and-knife attack in a nearby coastal town., "This day in history," 17 Aug. 2019 An officer observed an occupant of the moving vehicle attempt to push someone out, which police later determined was the carjacking victim and not involved in the crime. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Carjacking suspects flee police in Tempe, cause 5-vehicle crash in Scottsdale," 16 Aug. 2019 Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac have been training with the squad and a decision on their availability will be made at a later date after being involved in a carjacking attempt by an armed gang in July., "Arsenal vs Burnley Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 15 Aug. 2019 John Elifritz, a suspect in a carjacking, had burst into the shelter on Southeast Grand Avenue armed with a knife, police said., "Family of John Elifritz seeks sanctions against city for late disclosure of videos showing police shooting," 14 Aug. 2019 Hall said Tuesday that her British Open trophy from one year ago was stolen in a carjacking. Olivia Conte And Jill Martin, CNN, "Weekend sports lineup packed with the USWNT, Pro Football Hall of Famers and Coco Gauff," 2 Aug. 2019 In a carjacking, Mitchell killed a 63-year-old grandmother and later slit the throat of her 9-year-old granddaughter before crushing the girl's skull with rocks. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, "Trump DOJ plans to execute inmates eligible for federal death penalty under Biden law," 25 July 2019 Speaking on Tuesday Craig defended the success of Project Green Light, saying that since 2015 the city has seen a 60% reduction in carjackings. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit City Council approves $4 million for Real Time Crime Center," 23 July 2019 On May 3, Maleah was reported missing by her stepfather, Derion Vence, who claimed he’d been knocked unconscious in a carjacking and that the girl had been abducted by three Hispanic men. Harriet Sokmensuer,, "'My Little Pony' Casket for 4-Year-Old Texas Girl Found Dead Weeks After Going Missing," 20 June 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

22 Aug 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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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