Definition of kidnap in English:


Syllabification: kid·nap
Pronunciation: /ˈkidˌnap

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

[with object]
  • Take (someone) away illegally by force, typically to obtain a ransom.
    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, take hostage


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.



More 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.


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

More definitions of kidnap

Definition of kidnap in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space