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 As Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht and three other commissioners discussed what to do about several hundred absentee ballots that arrived in time to be counted but were not postmarked, an anonymous person hijacked the virtual meeting. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin figures out a way to celebrate holidays even as coronavirus cases grow and election drama continues," 12 Apr. 2020 An ex-police officer, armed with an M-16 assault rifle, hijacked a bus near a tourist destination close to police headquarters in a desperate bid to get his job back. Helen Regan, CNN, "Hostages from Philippines shopping mall released after hours-long siege," 2 Mar. 2020 And in December, hackers hijacked the Ring cameras of multiple families, using the devices’ speakers to verbally assault some of them. Brian X. Chen, New York Times, "Your Doorbell Camera Spied on You. Now What?," 19 Feb. 2020 When Forman hijacked that Sunday morning service, two-thirds of Riverside worshippers, including the minister, stormed out in protest. Washington Post, "Reparations and Religion: 50 years after ‘Black Manifesto’," 30 Dec. 2019 In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean. BostonGlobe.com, "In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard Nixon held their second televised debate, this one in Washington, D.C.," 7 Oct. 2019 At their peak, Somali pirates hijacked entire ships and their crew for seven-figure ransoms. The Economist, "The Gulf of Guinea is now the world’s worst piracy hotspot," 29 June 2019 On Tuesday, Roberts hijacked a hepatitis update to the Board of Supervisors to bring attention to the growing flu threat. Michael Smolens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Why we don't think the flu is worse than hep A (but it really is)," 6 Jan. 2018 At that point, the virus deposits its RNA, hijacks our cellular machinery, and cranks out copies of itself. Andrew Zaleski, Popular Mechanics, "So When Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Be Available?," 29 Apr. 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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hijack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hijack. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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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