kidnap

verb
kid·​nap | \ ˈkid-ˌnap How to pronounce kidnap (audio) \
kidnapped also kidnaped\ ˈkid-​ˌnapt How to pronounce kidnaped (audio) \; 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 How to pronounce kidnapee (audio) \ noun
kidnapper or less commonly kidnaper noun

Synonyms for kidnap

Synonyms

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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 In 2009, 16-year-old Eric LeBaron was kidnapped by drug traffickers. Rebecca Janzen, The Conversation, "Mormons in Mexico: A brief history of polygamy, cartel violence and faith," 6 Nov. 2019 In May 2009, as the drug war in Mexico was escalating, LeBaron's 10-year-old brother, Eric, was kidnapped from the family ranch by criminal organizations. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "For Mormon offshoot groups in Mexico, a history of family traditions — and violence," 6 Nov. 2019 About an hour later, Fuller tried to kidnap a teenage girl on Arundel Drive, police said. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "Man admits to involvement in two attempted kidnappings in Fort Washington, police say," 31 Oct. 2019 Sotloff was kidnapped in August 2013 after crossing into Syria from Turkey and was killed on Sept. 2, 2014. Marcy Oster, sun-sentinel.com, "Parents of slain journalist Steven Sotloff thank Trump and soldiers for ‘eliminating’ ISIS chief," 29 Oct. 2019 Till , a 14-year-old African American from Chicago, was kidnapped, beaten and dumped in a river in 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman in a store. NBC News, "Trump Claim Brings New Pain to Relatives of Lynching Victims," 23 Oct. 2019 Till , a 14-year-old African American from Chicago, was kidnapped, beaten and dumped in a river in 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman in a store. Jay Reeves, Twin Cities, "Trump lynching claim renews pain for kin of actual victims," 23 Oct. 2019 Like the five boys of Bell’s account, Wood was kidnapped and illegally sold into slavery. Eric Herschthal, The New Republic, "An Early Case For Reparations," 16 Oct. 2019 When Lele Pons was 5 years old, she and her mother, who is Italian and a pediatrician, were kidnapped and ransomed, a common occurrence in some parts of Latin America. cleveland, "Internet sensation Lele Pons discusses tiptoeing on social media’s tightrope," 12 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for kidnap

Time Traveler

The first known use of kidnap was in 1682

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Statistics for kidnap

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Kidnap.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kidnaped?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=k&file=kidnap11. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for kidnap

kidnap

verb
How to pronounce kidnap (audio)

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 How to pronounce kidnap (audio) \
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 How to pronounce kidnap (audio) \
kidnapped or kidnaped\ -​ˌnapt How to pronounce kidnaped (audio) \; 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kidnap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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