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 His security team spots her as an imposter and kidnaps her, ready to feed her to the fishes. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'Westworld' Season 3 premiere: Not even Aaron Paul can save this show from itself," 16 Mar. 2020 Ramon had refused to join MS-13, Kevin would testify, and the gang had kidnapped him in retaliation. Anchorage Daily News, "Immigrant children are promised confidentiality in mandatory therapy. Then their words are used against them by ICE.," 16 Feb. 2020 Anthony Montwheeler spent 20 years in an Oregon mental healthy facility after being found not guilty of kidnapping his ex-wife by reason of insanity. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "‘What’s this guy doing loose in Malheur County?’," 27 Feb. 2020 An Illinois man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for breaking into his ex-girlfriend's Greendale home, kidnapping her at gunpoint and driving her to Chicago. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Illinois man sentenced to 15 years in prison for kidnapping ex-girlfriend from her Greendale home," 24 Feb. 2020 Ramon had refused to join MS-13, Kevin would testify, and the gang had kidnapped him in retaliation. Anchorage Daily News, "Immigrant children are promised confidentiality in mandatory therapy. Then their words are used against them by ICE.," 16 Feb. 2020 Ramon had refused to join MS-13, Kevin would testify, and the gang had kidnapped him in retaliation. Washington Post, "Trust and consequences," 15 Feb. 2020 Barker attacked a 61-year-old woman in the area and tried to kidnap her. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Man attacked and tried to kidnap two women on Cleveland Metroparks hiking trail, authorities say," 4 Feb. 2020 But the plot soon darkens as its hero becomes a kind of street urchin, mingling with migrant workers, beggars, victims of famine, and even thugs who try to kidnap him. Ratik Asokan, The New York Review of Books, "A New Look At Ritwik Ghatak’s Bengal," 25 Jan. 2020

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

3 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kidnap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kidnap. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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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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