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 That year, the city logged about 1,000 carjackings, the highest number in at least a decade, according to police statistics. Alejandro Serrano,, "Two given 11 years in federal prison each for carjacking in Goose Island neighborhood," 31 July 2019 Alexander is charged with carjacking, battery on a person age 65 or older and grand theft of a motor vehicle, Orange County court records show. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "He carjacked an elderly man, deputies say. But they say he couldn't drive a stick shift," 18 July 2019 Moreno-Berrios is charged with carjacking, malicious damage to property and five traffic violations. USA TODAY, "‘Molly of Denali,’ saloon discourse, ashes by mail: News from around our 50 states," 10 July 2019 Brandon Deonte Washington is facing several charges, including resisting arrest, leaving the scene of a crash, carjacking, grand theft and kidnapping after separate robberies in Orange and Seminole counties within an hour of each other. Cristóbal Reyes,, "Sanford cops arrest man suspected of 2 carjackings across 2 counties in 1 hour," 2 July 2019 In 2018, the Milwaukee Police Department reported 383 carjackings, down from the 410 in 2017. James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee judges say helping people earn back their driver licenses could cut down on reckless driving," 7 June 2019 Police spotted and arrested them soon after the incident and charged with robbery/carjacking, theft of property, and attempted theft of a vehicle. Fox News, "Nashville carjacking foiled by manual transmission," 6 Aug. 2018 One person was shot in an apparent carjacking, the report said, on Colonial Drive and Orange Blossom Trail at about 5:30 a.m. The Orlando Police Department has not confirmed the details. Web Staff,, "Shots fired at Wawa in Orlando: report," 27 June 2018 During the Algiers carjacking, a preliminary NOPD report states, Garrett approached a 63-year-old woman, produced a gun and tried to take her vehicle. Emily Lane,, "4 guns found on 'disoriented' man who carjacked SUV, then kicked in ex's door: NOPD," 16 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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Statistics for carjacking

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for carjacking

The first known use of carjacking was in 1991

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More Definitions for carjacking


How to pronounce carjacking (audio)

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of carjacking

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