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

The other charges Jackson faces are kidnapping, tampering with public records and forgery. Peter Martinez, CBS News, "Arizona state trooper arrested on 61 counts of sex-related, kidnapping and fraud charges," 10 Sep. 2019 Dallas County jail records show Randolph also faces charges of aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping out of Collin County, with bail set at $100,000 on each of the charges. Dallas News, "Teen faces murder charge after 67-year-old man is shot trying to sell phone, Dallas police say," 25 Aug. 2019 The Reno Gazette-Journal reports another man was arrested this week on suspicion of helping kidnap the woman. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Man suspected of kidnapping mom, 80, arrested in California," 16 Aug. 2019 Again and again stories tell of fair maidens either kidnapped by bears, or else following one by personal volition. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "New book explores mankind’s fascination with bears, from Stone Age to 'Winnie the Pooh’," 31 Aug. 2019 Another bloody round of fighting took place two years later after extremists kidnapped and killed a pro-Palestinian Italian activist in Gaza. Fox News, "Three Hamas policemen killed in rare attacks with Gaza in 'state of alert'," 28 Aug. 2019 Police said robbery detectives determined that the suspects stole the car and kidnapped the victim at Barbur Transit Center in Southwest Portland. oregonlive.com, "Police search for suspects in Mt. Tabor carjacking and shooting," 28 Aug. 2019 The theoretical dangers are enormous, with bad actors potentially capable of kidnapping passengers or making cars collide. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartzy, "A new thriller novel offers up twisted scenarios of the tech revolution gone wrong," 28 Aug. 2019 Last September, Jabari Bird was preparing for the start of Boston Celtics training camp when he was accused of choking, kidnapping and assaulting a woman. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Assessing the Details of DeMarcus Cousins Allegedly Threatening Ex-Girlfriend," 27 Aug. 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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Statistics for kidnap

Last Updated

19 Sep 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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