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

Well, apparently no one was guarding Hot Dog over the summer, because he got kidnapped by the Ghoulies in the season premiere and that is NOT OK. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who Is Hot Dog? All About the Star of the "Riverdale" Premiere," 11 Oct. 2018 Anne’s juiciest tidbit from her adolescence might be—sorry, Anne—the time she was almost kidnapped in 1974. Vogue, "More Casting News for The Crown Season 3, Including a Young Prince Charles," 26 July 2018 Workshops have also been held across the city to educate the public, particularly in relation to the gangs believed to be kidnapping children. Manveena Suri, CNN, "Indian mob kills transgender woman over fake rumors spread on WhatsApp," 28 May 2018 The bodies of kidnapped American Peter Kilburn and Britons Philip Padfield and Leigh Douglas were found near Beirut; they had been slain in apparent retaliation for the U.S. raid on Libya. azcentral, "AZ Memo: How to see meteor shows in Arizona; border agent's murder case goes to jury; education funding and future tech jobs," 17 Apr. 2018 Only one resulted in a federal conviction, that of Ku Klux Klansman James Ford Seale for kidnapping two black teenagers, Charles Moore and Henry Dee, who were killed in Mississippi in 1964. Jay Reeves, BostonGlobe.com, "US reopens probe of notorious 1955 slaying of black teen in Miss.," 12 July 2018 Only one resulted in in a federal conviction since the act became law, that of Ku Klux Klansman James Ford Seale for kidnapping two black teenagers, Charles Moore and Henry Dee, who were killed in Mississippi in 1964. Jay Reeves, Anchorage Daily News, "‘New information’ prompts US to reopen investigation of brutal 1955 slaying of black teen," 12 July 2018 This was the second time that Mikel's father had been kidnapped, after a similiar incident in 2011. Scooby Axson, SI.com, "Report: Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel Played vs. Argentina Knowing Father Was Kidnapped," 3 July 2018 In its sequel, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, Jekyll and the members of the Athena Club learn that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "12 fantastic science fiction and fantasy novels that you should check out this July," 1 July 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

14 Nov 2018

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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Comments on kidnap

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