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Line breaks: kid¦nap
Pronunciation: /ˈkɪdnap

Definition of kidnap in English:

verb (kidnaps, kidnapping, kidnapped; US also kidnaps, kidnaping, kidnaped)

[with object]
Abduct (someone) and hold them captive, typically to obtain a ransom: militants kidnapped the daughter of a minister
More example sentences
  • His brother abroad collected a ransom thinking he was kidnapped by petty criminals.
  • Bent is sick of it and in league with the hired thugs who originally kidnapped him.
  • She turned on the TV, and watched as old men discussed the events of the ‘Kidnapper’, a nickname given to a criminal who kidnaps women.
abduct, carry off, capture, seize, snatch, hold to ransom, take as hostage, hijack;
informal nobble, shanghai


[mass noun] Back to top  
The action of kidnapping someone: they were arrested for robbery and kidnap
More example sentences
  • He pleaded guilty to three robberies, kidnap and one offence of aggravated burglary.
  • At the same time, you want us to deal with terror, with murder, with kidnap, with rape.
  • Not a day passes without reports of mugging, murder, dacoity, extortion and kidnap making it to the front page.


late 17th century: back-formation from kidnapper, from kid1 + slang nap 'nab, seize'.



Example sentences
  • Is it that both the kidnapped and the kidnapper are involved in some other illegal activity?
  • Last week, there was a kidnapping and the kidnappers were immediately caught.
  • She immediately told the man behind the counter she had been kidnapped and that her kidnapper was right outside.

Definition of kidnap in:

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