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 In addition, Interpol issued a global alert this month warning about organized criminal efforts worldwide to hijack vaccine shipments or traffic in false cures. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, "As vaccine rollout nears, many concerns raised in Latin America, hard hit by COVID-19," 20 Dec. 2020 Last month, researchers showed that coronaviruses can hijack lysosomes to leave cells and spread through the body. Esther Landhuis, Wired, "How a Medication for OCD Ended Up in a Covid-19 Trial," 19 Nov. 2020 If a virus gets past the mucus river, its next aim is to find the cells that line the airway, known as epithelial cells, then get inside them and hijack their molecular machinery to make more copies of itself. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Covid Winter is Coming. Could Humidifiers Help?," 12 Nov. 2020 With it, Wouters is able to hijack the Bluetooth radio connection that the key fob uses to open the vehicle using the VIN and coming within 15 feet of the target vehicle's fob. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Tesla Model X Has Flaw Allowing It to Be Hacked and Stolen," 23 Nov. 2020 After this summer’s big Twitter hack—in which Bitcoin scammers stole internal tooling to hijack celebrity accounts—there’s no doubt Mudge has his work cut out for him. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Silicon Valley loses another tech icon," 17 Nov. 2020 In addition to infecting the victim who downloaded the attachment in the spam email, QBot can also hijack the victim’s email threads and infect others, said Ragnar Sigurdsson, CEO and co-founder of AwareGO, a security training firm. Grant Gross, Washington Examiner, "Emails alleging election interference spread malware," 12 Nov. 2020 Two weeks later, Kaczynski met with Stambler and other Polish Jews, who had earlier condemned the letter as an attempt to hijack Polish Jewry to settle progressive scores with the government. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, "Abortion protests in Poland puts Jewish communal conflict into the spotlight," 4 Nov. 2020 Researchers are now making headway in understanding how SARS-CoV-2 could hijack pain-sensing neurons, called nociceptors, to produce some of COVID-19’s hallmark symptoms. Stephani Sutherland, Scientific American, "What We Know So Far about How COVID Affects the Nervous System," 22 Oct. 2020

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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hijack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hijack. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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