Definition of hijack in English:


Syllabification: hi·jack
Pronunciation: /ˈhīˌjak
(also highjack)


[with object]
1Illegally seize (an aircraft, ship, or vehicle) in transit and force it to go to a different destination or use it for one’s own purposes: three armed men hijacked a white van (as noun hijacking) an eight-hour hijacking
More example sentences
  • It involves chasing and seizing a supposedly hijacked ship and rescuing its crew members.
  • Armed men hijack the vehicle when Dr. Quest is away, taking Race and Jonny to an underwater base.
  • A dangerous armed thief, who hijacked a car in Egham, and committed a further six offences, has been jailed for six-and-a-half-years.
1.1Steal (goods) by seizing them in transit.
More example sentences
  • Last year he helped expose a bug that was allowing hackers to hijack AOL Instant Messenger accounts.
  • A bug in Movable Type allows spammers to hijack the ‘Mail This Entry’ blog feature.
  • I guess I should also apologise to Nick D' Angelo for hijacking the Beats Per Minute show in 1989.
1.2Take over (something) and use it for a different purpose: the organization had been hijacked by extremists
More example sentences
  • The public power belongs to everyone and when majorities hijack it for sectarian purposes they act oppressively.
  • Where Pringle is even-handed in showing how extremists have hijacked the debate over GM food, Nestle is an unapologetic partisan.
  • We should not let racist organisations hijack our national flag.


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An incident or act of hijacking.
More example sentences
  • After the hijack attempt, he says he took stock, realising that ‘life might end any minute and I really need to push things on a bit’.
  • The Saudi statement gave no motive for the hijack attempt.
  • The three run some of the biggest hijacks and burglaries New York has ever seen.


1920s (originally US): of unknown origin.



More example sentences
  • May hijackers and car thieves overlook you, but may your loved ones always see you.
  • Having used force and the threat of murder to take over the ferry the hijackers were certainly criminals who deserved prison.
  • Terrorism experts said the hijackers could have armed themselves with nothing more than pocket knives.

Definition of hijack in: