hi·​jack | \ˈhī-ˌjak \
variants: or less commonly
hijacked also highjacked; hijacking also highjacking; hijacks also highjacks

Definition of hijack 

transitive verb

1a : to steal by stopping a vehicle on the highway

b : to commandeer (a flying airplane) especially by coercing the pilot at gunpoint

c : to stop and steal from (a vehicle in transit)

d : kidnap

2a : to steal or rob as if by hijacking

b : to subject to extortion or swindling

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Other Words from hijack

hijack noun
hijacker noun

Synonyms for hijack



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Examples of hijack in a Sentence

He hijacked a truck, threatening the driver at gunpoint. A band of robbers hijacked the load of furs from the truck. A group of terrorists hijacked the plane. The organization has been hijacked by radicals.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Most are honest professionals, but the civil-service system hasn’t been updated in 40 years and in many ways has been hijacked by unions. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Fresh Air in the Swamp," 31 May 2018 The Rise of Digital Wellbeing Our minds have been hijacked by our phones. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "Google and the Rise of "Digital Wellbeing"," 9 May 2018 However, with Mousa Dembele rumoured to be moving abroad, Tottenham Hotspur have attempted to hijack the deal and sign the unsettled Croatian. SI.com, "Tottenham Preparing to Rival Man Utd in Race to Sign Highly Sought After Croatian Superstar," 28 June 2018 This has led to a phenomenon known as cryptojacking, where people’s computers are hijacked to contribute to the attacker’s cryptocurrency mining operation, without their knowledge. David Meyer, Fortune, "How the U.S. Courts Website Unwittingly Became a Cryptocurrency Miner," 12 Feb. 2018 The University of California had done everything within its legal power to let Yiannopoulos speak without allowing him to hijack Berkeley’s campus. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "How Social-Media Trolls Turned U.C. Berkeley Into a Free-Speech Circus," 23 May 2016 In a new study, scientists reveal aging to be a process set in motion by the rise of malign forces called senescent cells, which progressively hijack the body and take it on a nightmarish joyride. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "This drug cocktail reduced signs of age-related diseases and extended life in mice and human cells," 10 July 2018 The Supreme Court, which includes a justice installed only after Senate Republicans hijacked a seat under Obama, upheld Trump’s obviously anti-Muslim travel ban. Nestor Ramos, BostonGlobe.com, "A year ago I wrote about a national push for civility. So, how’s that going?," 28 June 2018 Wilson also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and hijacking a car. Steve Burns, ajc, "Man gets life for kidnapping, sexual assault of West Georgia student," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hijack.' 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 hijack

1923, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hijack

origin unknown

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Statistics for hijack

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hijack

The first known use of hijack was in 1923

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English Language Learners Definition of hijack

: to stop and steal (a moving vehicle)

: to steal (something) from a moving vehicle that you have stopped

: to take control of (an aircraft) by force


hi·​jack | \ˈhī-ˌjak\
hijacked; hijacking

Kids Definition of hijack

1 : to stop and steal or steal from a moving vehicle

2 : to take control of (an aircraft) by force

Other Words from hijack

hijacker noun
hi·​jack | \ˈhī-ˌjak\

Legal Definition of hijack 

: to seize possession or control of (a vehicle) from another person by force or threat of force specifically : to seize possession or control of (an aircraft) especially by forcing the pilot to divert the aircraft to another destination

Other Words from hijack

hijack noun
hijacker noun

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