Definition of hot-wire in English:



[with object]informal
  • Start the engine of (a vehicle) by bypassing the ignition system, typically in order to steal it.

    ‘some of the children were hot-wiring cars’
    • ‘Hot-wiring a plane, however, is easier than hot-wiring a car.’
    • ‘One hot-wires the ignition while his partner, with the help of plastic, self-fastening pins, quickly attaches a pair of false number plates.’
    • ‘As the owner banged on the window, one of the thieves hot-wired the car, whilst the other made a rude gesture.’
    • ‘Between food-thievery, vehicle hot-wiring and gas-siphoning, Cowen jokes that he has learned a new set of skills.’
    • ‘He hot-wired the Caterpillar forklift after reading how to operate it in the local library.’
    • ‘The fact is if one has an immobiliser, the easy way of hot-wiring a car is no longer possible, and one kills that crime stone dead.’
    • ‘He smashed off the plastic cowling surrounding the ignition lock and attempted to hot-wire the car but was unable to start it.’
    • ‘The mugger then hot-wired his Honda, and sped off towards Sukhumvit Road.’
    • ‘The repossession company can hot-wire your car and drive it away from any location, as long as it doesn't illegally enter your locked garage or physically threaten you.’
    • ‘From my third floor vantage point, I could see a young would-be car thief trying to hot-wire an old van that I had not seen move in over a year.’
    • ‘He had taken the vehicle by hot-wiring it so he could visit his mother in Liverpool.’
    • ‘She hot-wired Brian's car and drove out of the garage.’
    • ‘She jumped onto the bus, sat down in the driver's seat, and hot-wired it expertly.’
    • ‘Reports at the time included 50 cars being hot-wired and driven out of the showroom to be disembowelled for parts, and hundreds hospitalised after fires and fighting broke out.’
    • ‘This prevents an auto thief from engaging the transmission by hot-wiring or with an ignition key.’
    • ‘It was taken after a gang cut the padlock on the security gate and hot-wired the vehicle.’
    • ‘He hot-wires the car to start using the battery and the two wires.’
    • ‘After hot-wiring the car, he was on his way to his house.’
    • ‘A murder suspect being watched by detectives hot-wired the machine as officers were chatting, a national newspaper reported.’
    • ‘‘I was trying to protect you,’ he said as he opened the driver side door of the car she had hot-wired.’