hi·​jack | \ ˈhī-ˌjak How to pronounce hijack (audio) \
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 Woods has been called the ringleader and a sociopath by his old nemesis, the sheriff of Madera County where the school bus was hijacked. George Osterkamp, CBS News, "Notorious Chowchilla bus kidnapper ran a gold mine and Christmas tree farm from prison," 11 Oct. 2019 The botched campaign follows similar efforts by other companies which were also hijacked by online trolls. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Adidas social media debacle produces racist and anti-Semitic tweets," 2 July 2019 Somali pirates infamously hijacked the U.S. containership Maersk Alabama in April 2009, holding its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage and prompting a rescue operation led by U.S. Navy SEALs. Fox News, "Pirates board Norwegian vessel, abduct nine crew members off West Africa," 5 Nov. 2019 The prison was also the scene of a jailbreak worthy of the silver screen in 1986 when inmate Ronald McIntosh escaped, hijacked a helicopter, and returned to FCI Dublin to lift his lover and fellow inmate, Samantha Lopez, to freedom. BostonGlobe.com, "A helicopter jailbreak, a Hollywood madam, and a billionaire: A look inside Felicity Huffman’s prison - The Boston Globe," 17 Oct. 2019 Mustafa hijacked the flight in March 2016 using a fake suicide belt and diverted it to Cyprus. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Egypt court sentences plane hijacker to life in prison," 24 Sep. 2019 Saban has hijacked and broken the game, for good or ill. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Go inside Santa Saban’s NFL swag boxes," 24 Sep. 2019 Terrorists hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. NBC News, "Mourners use reading of 9/11 victims' names to criticize Rep. Omar and decry gun violence," 11 Sep. 2019 The gunman then hijacked a United States postal van and indiscriminately fired from a rifle at people before the authorities shot and killed him outside a movie theater in Odessa. Jane Tyska, The Mercury News, "Photos: Vigil for victims of Odessa, Texas shooting rampage," 1 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for hijack

Time Traveler

The first known use of hijack was in 1923

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Statistics for hijack

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Hijack.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hijack?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=h&file=hijack01. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for hijack


How to pronounce hijack (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on hijack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hijack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hijack

Spanish Central: Translation of hijack

Nglish: Translation of hijack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hijack for Arabic Speakers

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