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

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

In August of 2007, another woman was kidnapped from the same mall. Juan Ortega, www.feloniousflorida.com, "Randi," 1 May 2018 The relationship soured again when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri temporarily resigned in late 2017 while on a trip to Riyadh, prompting accusations in Lebanon that the Saudis had kidnapped him. Nicolas Parasie, WSJ, "Qatar Muscles in on Saudi Arabia With Lebanon Investment," 21 Jan. 2019 ApostleL October 12, Netflix Dan Stevens stars in this atmospheric period film about a brother who travels to an isolated island to rescue her sister from a cult that kidnapped her. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "All the New Halloween Movies and TV Shows Premiering This Month, Ranked by Scariness," 12 Oct. 2018 Chadwick called 911 from San Diego the next day and said Quee - known as Q.C. – was killed by a handyman who kidnapped him and brought the body along. Fox News, "Millionaire murder suspect eludes capture, so cops launch 'true crime' podcast," 21 Sep. 2018 Deng was about 7 years old when raiders from Sudan’s Muslim north swept into his Dinka village in the south, killing men, raping women and kidnapping him and hundreds of other boys and girls. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "By day, he runs for president of South Sudan. By night, he unloads trucks at Lowe’s.," 7 July 2018 GREENDALE - An Illinois man is facing four felony charges for allegedly breaking into the Greendale home of his ex-girlfriend in the middle of the night and kidnapping her with a gun. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Greendale woman feared for her life during kidnapping," 26 June 2018 In September 2016, two weeks before Mr. Alston was to go on trial, two masked men burst into Mr. Bishun’s auto-body shop, kidnapping him at gunpoint and later using a zip tie to strangle him. Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, "Days Before Murder Trial, Prosecutors Reveal a Missing Confession," 6 June 2018 It was also discovered that a woman had been with the two male victims, and the three suspects allegedly kidnapped her after the mall incident. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Three arrested in Sugar Land mall shooting, kidnapping," 8 Mar. 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

4 Apr 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 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

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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