Share this entry

Share this page

kidnap

Syllabification: kid·nap
Pronunciation: /ˈkidˌnap
 
/

Definition of kidnap in English:

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

[with object]
Take (someone) away illegally by force, typically to obtain a ransom.
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.
Synonyms
abduct, carry off, capture, seize, snatch, take hostage

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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

kidnapper

1
noun
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.

Words that rhyme with kidnap

bitmapcatnap • Saranwrap

Definition of kidnap in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure