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

Police say the White Dodge Charger used for the armed robbery and shooting was the same one that was involved in the carjacking. Campbell Lutz, ajc, "Country club shooting victim ID’d as manager of several restaurants in D.C. area," 13 July 2018 Moore's case was handled by the Vehicular Hijacking Task Force, a joint team of Chicago and state police, federal agents and prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office that was formed in response to a spike in carjackings in 2017. Jason Meisner,, "Chicago man charged for rash of carjackings, faces potential life in prison," 25 May 2018 In the carjacking, Lowery pleaded guilty in September 2016 to state charges of simple robbery and flight from an officer, according to Orleans Parish court records. Laura Mcknight,, "New Orleans men sentenced in Lower 9th Ward carjacking," 21 May 2018 Detectives are looking to identify the other two girls who were involved in the carjacking. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Pregnant teacher carjacked at Maryland school by group of girls, cops say," 23 Apr. 2018 Jennifer Ciaccia said detectives are still investigating whether the teen had any role in the carjacking. Adam Ferrise,, "SUV stolen in carjacking of St. Ignatius student put up for sale on Instagram, police say," 28 Feb. 2018 David Leo Perkins, 21, was sentenced for his role in the July carjacking. Michael Williams,, "Daytona man sentenced to life for carjacking 93-year-old woman in church parking lot," 7 Jan. 2018 Martine Mazieres’ husband, Jean, was one of four people killed in a carjacking, shooting and supermarket hostage-taking in the Aude region in March. John Leicester, The Seattle Times, "France flood heaps added tragedy on terror victim’s widow," 16 Oct. 2018 Dontae Small was sentenced to 27 years in prison for a carjacking that led to a high-speed chase that ended with a crash at the security gate at the National Security Agency. Jessica Anderson,, "Man who crashed into NSA gate in 2015 sentenced to 27 years in prison," 2 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

7 Feb 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 \

Legal Definition of carjacking

: theft by force or intimidation of an auto that has a driver or passenger present

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Spanish Central: Translation of carjacking

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