kidnap

verb
kid·​nap | \ ˈkid-ˌnap \
kidnapped also kidnaped\ ˈkid-​ˌnapt \; kidnapping also kidnaping

Definition of kidnap

transitive verb

: to seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom

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Other Words from kidnap

kidnappee or kidnapee \ ˌkid-​ˌna-​ˈpē \ noun
kidnapper or less commonly kidnaper noun

Synonyms for kidnap

Synonyms

abduct

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Examples of kidnap in a Sentence

the child of the wealthy industrialist was kidnapped and held for ransom

Recent Examples on the Web

According to the police files, several of the accused would take turns picking an acquaintance to be kidnapped. David Luhnow, WSJ, "Mexicans, Hit by Murder Wave, Face Long, Often Futile Wait for Justice," 25 Dec. 2018 By the way, same thing the U.S. did in the 18th and 19th centuries, stealing IP for textile manufacturing out of Europe, even kidnapping artisans. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Microsoft is more valuable than Apple again. Why?," 30 Nov. 2018 Another tragedy struck Mexico four years ago when students who had planned on attending the October 2 march were kidnapped. Andalusia Knoll, Teen Vogue, "What to Know About the 1968 Tlatelolco Plaza Student Massacre," 2 Oct. 2018 The mission: kidnap a drug lord’s 12-year-old daughter, Isabela,frame a rival gang for the kidnapping, and sit back and watch the ensuing carnage. Michael Phillips, kansascity, "‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ enters the border debate, guns blazing," 28 June 2018 Scott Nelson faces the death penalty in the murder of Jennifer Fulford, whom he is accused of kidnapping from her employer’s Winter Park home. Gal Tziperman Lotan, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Death penalty trial in Winter Park killing will be delayed," 29 May 2018 In 2013, Cuba returned a Florida couple who had kidnapped their children from the grandparents and fled to the island aboard a boat. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "She sent her two children on vacation to Cuba. Only one returned to Miami | Miami Herald," 14 May 2018 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Further investigation revealed that three people, including the victim, were kidnapped from a business in Hickory and taken to Caldwell County where the shooting occurred. Wbtv, charlotteobserver, "Arrest made following kidnappings, shooting in Caldwell County | Charlotte Observer," 28 Apr. 2018 In 1975, community college teacher Claude Snelling was shot while trying to stop a masked intruder from kidnapping his 16-year-old daughter from his home. Michael Balsamo And Jonathan J. Cooper, chicagotribune.com, "Genealogy site didn't know it was used to seek one of California's most terrifying serial killers," 27 Apr. 2018

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

1682, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kidnap

probably back-formation from kidnapper, from kid + obsolete napper thief

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Statistics for kidnap

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kidnap

The first known use of kidnap was in 1682

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More Definitions for kidnap

kidnap

verb

English Language Learners Definition of kidnap

: to take away (someone) by force usually in order to keep the person as a prisoner and demand money for returning the person

kidnap

verb
kid·​nap | \ ˈkid-ˌnap \
kidnapped\ -​ˌnapt \; kidnapping

Kids Definition of kidnap

: to carry away a person by force or by fraud and against his or her will

Other Words from kidnap

kidnapper noun
kid·​nap | \ ˈkid-ˌnap \
kidnapped or kidnaped\ -​ˌnapt \; kidnapping or kidnaping\ -​ˌna-​piŋ \

Legal Definition of kidnap

: to seize and confine or carry away by force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom

Other Words from kidnap

kidnapper or kidnaper \ -​ˌna-​pər \ noun

History and Etymology for kidnap

probably back-formation from kidnapper, from kid child + obsolete napper thief

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More from Merriam-Webster on kidnap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kidnap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kidnap

Spanish Central: Translation of kidnap

Nglish: Translation of kidnap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kidnap for Arabic Speakers

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