Definition of hijack in US English:

hijack

(also highjack)

verb

[with object]
  • 1Unlawfully 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’
    • ‘Armed men hijack the vehicle when Dr. Quest is away, taking Race and Jonny to an underwater base.’
    • ‘You can snatch weapons from your enemies' hands and hijack their all-new vehicles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There, using a mock Boeing aircraft, he claimed he was taught how to smuggle guns onto aircraft and how to hijack an aircraft.’
    • ‘She remembered the war, which was thrust upon her father, King Dahir, just because some pirates had hijacked a ship belonging to the Caliph.’
    • ‘Their Subaru car was hijacked by the armed gang while returning to Charleroi last Friday prior to the start of the Bianchi Rally in Belgium.’
    • ‘In the end, they hijacked commercial aircrafts without detection or interdiction.’
    • ‘It took us three days by bullock cart to reach Delhi and there was no point in hijacking that vehicle.’
    • ‘Police today revealed a lorry hijacked by a gang of armed robbers has been found with its £1million load of electrical equipment still intact.’
    • ‘The crew decides to return to Earth to face charges from Starfleet Command related to hijacking their own ship.’
    • ‘It involves chasing and seizing a supposedly hijacked ship and rescuing its crew members.’
    • ‘Why go to all the trouble of hijacking the ship and then leave the cargo at the warehouse?’
    • ‘So I hijacked the ship of the guy who kidnapped me.’
    • ‘The Consortium is attempting to label you as a deranged rogue who hijacked an armed ship.’
    • ‘In a separate incident in the tribal areas yesterday, gunmen hijacked an official van and took hostage its two occupants.’
    • ‘This is a threat greater than hijacking or suicide hijacking an aircraft.’
    • ‘A 29-year-old Italian former policeman was arrested yesterday after attempting to hijack an aircraft for the second time in three years.’
    • ‘In court, Huckerby, of Clifton Road, was said to have taken a £1,000 bribe to let the gang hijack his vehicle.’
    • ‘I've hijacked your car and forced you to drive me to Florida.’
    • ‘They hijacked vehicles, even UN convoys, and staged kidnappings for ransom.’
    commandeer, seize, take over, take possession of, skyjack
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Steal (goods) by seizing them in transit.
      • ‘Last year he helped expose a bug that was allowing hackers to hijack AOL Instant Messenger accounts.’
      • ‘We hijacked the best seats in the house, the front row of the balcony, where I waved my multicolored boa and mauve lace covered hand at him.’
      • ‘Brian Caton of the Prison Officers' Association said racist organisations should not be allowed to hijack the St George emblem.’
      • ‘There's never a good time to hijack the Constitution for political reasons.’
      • ‘A bug in Movable Type allows spammers to hijack the ‘Mail This Entry’ blog feature.’
      • ‘In the latest example, Tony had to step in and place Paulie Walnuts in charge of a cigarette hijacking operation that Christopher apparently botched.’
      • ‘I even considered hijacking a couple of prints and jamming some waterfalls and sunsets in there to give myself a shot at the prize.’
      • ‘I guess I should also apologise to Nick D' Angelo for hijacking the Beats Per Minute show in 1989.’
      • ‘Whitelists won't catch spammers who have hijacked good known addresses, but will catch spammers who haven't.’
      • ‘To that end, he hijacks a tricycle laden with sweet treats and accidentally crashes the fast-moving contraption into the Magic Roundabout.’
      • ‘Icann has a new policy about domain name transfers which will make hijacking domains much easier.’
    2. 1.2 Take over (something) and use it for a different purpose.
      ‘the organization had been hijacked by extremists’
      • ‘The public power belongs to everyone and when majorities hijack it for sectarian purposes they act oppressively.’
      • ‘Tonight's quote is from the California Congressman who accused the Ninth Circuit Court of hijacking the electoral process.’
      • ‘He has grasped the fact that it is absurd for conservatives to have allowed issues of conservationism to be hijacked by the left.’
      • ‘Here a place with hardly a history hijacks a past.’
      • ‘It hijacks the universalism of justice to serve partisan ideological ends.’
      • ‘‘Looks-wise, you're perfect,’ Craigy-boy said, hijacking an interview with the Mirror and using it as an open address to the actress.’
      • ‘Mr. Kanthan does not want to discuss the script lest somebody hijacks it and makes the movie.’
      • ‘Sun Green cleverly hijacks the media with her own message to become a leader of a new youth movement.’
      • ‘It also helps to prevent the discussion being hijacked suddenly by a questioner in a totally different direction.’
      • ‘If the WTO is to be a democratic institution, it must not allow its green room to be hijacked by a few.’
      • ‘The word ‘filibuster’ comes from the Spanish word for ‘pirate,’ and that is exactly what the filibuster does; it hijacks the democratic process.’
      • ‘He has been slowly hijacking the machinery of government and developing parallel non-democratic governance structures.’
      • ‘He completely hijacks the conversation with streams of consciousness, which are very amusing but very self-protective.’
      • ‘We should not let racist organisations hijack our national flag.’
      • ‘Rational voices are drowned out and extremists are all too willing to hijack the debate.’
      • ‘Where Pringle is even-handed in showing how extremists have hijacked the debate over GM food, Nestle is an unapologetic partisan.’

noun

  • An incident or act of hijacking.

    • ‘The Saudi statement gave no motive for the hijack attempt.’
    • ‘André Steyn owes his current wellbeing to his mobile phone after the selfless device took a bullet for the merchant during an attempted hijack.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘So they went underground, formed the Red Army Faction, and carried out bank raids, kidnappings, hijacks and bombings.’
    • ‘Others may perform what's known as a browser hijack.’
    • ‘Once the unfortunate Afghans forced the skipper of the Tampa to sail to a port not of his choosing, it became a maritime hijack, analogous to a plane hijack.’
    • ‘The three run some of the biggest hijacks and burglaries New York has ever seen.’
    • ‘Singh pledged that India's fight against terrorism would continue and the hijack would be ‘retributed and justice sought’.’
    • ‘He immediately cancelled his Siberian vacation upon hearing news of the hijack, and set to deal with the incident.’
    • ‘They abandoned the wedding party and responded to the hijack call, and arrested two suspects.’
    • ‘The control tower notifies several air traffic control centres that a hijack is taking place.’
    • ‘At least in the commentary box it is, and it is so blatant that ‘conspiracy’ is the wrong word - it is a heist and a hijack.’
    • ‘In a loud voice, tell him that this is a hijack and that you are abducting him.’
    • ‘The use of handheld cameras, natural lighting and sharp editing creates the feeling of, ‘actually being in the hijack as it's happening.’’
    • ‘Unfortunately, just watching the address bar on your Internet browser won't inform you of any hijacks.’
    • ‘Tokcan was arrested after the hijack, but escaped from jail the following year.’
    seizure, seizing, taking, taking over, taking away, appropriation, appropriating, commandeering, expropriation, expropriating, confiscation, confiscating, requisition, requisitioning, hijack, hijacking, wresting, usurping, pre-empting, arrogation, claiming
    View synonyms

Origin

1920s (originally US): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

hijack

/ˈhīˌjak//ˈhaɪˌdʒæk/