Definition of kidnap in English:



  • Take (someone) away illegally by force, typically to obtain a ransom.

    • ‘He kidnaps her, in a surprisingly old-school twist, and takes her to parts unknown.’
    • ‘That's right; he kidnaps people, clones them, and then plans to release the clones to overrun the world.’
    • ‘Then later I was kidnapped by a gang of four blokes whose faces I can still distinctly remember.’
    • ‘His brother abroad collected a ransom thinking he was kidnapped by petty criminals.’
    • ‘He plots with Dirk Hatteraick, the smuggler who kidnapped him as a child, to carry him off again and kill him.’
    • ‘When Winnie meets the Tuck brothers, Miles basically kidnaps her.’
    • ‘No, but I've heard of martial artists being kidnapped and made to fight at gunpoint by bikers.’
    • ‘When a mysterious winged villain kidnaps him, you are naturally concerned.’
    • ‘He kidnaps Rebecca, and tries to make her love him.’
    • ‘When Nick finds out that his girl is shacking with Morgan, he flips out and kidnaps her, forcing Morgan into a showdown at the local warehouse.’
    • ‘A lorry driver kidnapped by armed robbers and tied up in a warehouse said today he thought he was going to die.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's no wonder the local Harlem crime lord calls on him when his daughter is kidnapped by the Mafia.’
    • ‘Hence, he concocts a secondary project to finance the first: namely, kidnaping his wife for a large ransom.’
    • ‘Harris didn't understand why she felt this connection with the lunatic who'd kidnaped her, but he understood what she meant.’
    • ‘What if a radical Italian terrorist group kidnaps her?’
    • ‘Special refugee camps to prevent children being kidnapped by criminal gangs are to be set up.’
    • ‘Out of guilt, he kidnaps the baby girl and drops her off at the orphanage.’
    abduct, carry off, capture, seize, snatch, hold to ransom, take as hostage, hijack
    run away with, run off with
    nobble, shanghai
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  • The action of kidnapping someone.

    ‘they were arrested for robbery and kidnap’
    • ‘Among those victims of kidnap, torture and murder were my own uncle, cousin and brother.’
    • ‘Abroad, the risk of kidnap or murder has soared in many places.’
    • ‘The kidnap was carried out without rousing family members or neighbours from sleep.’
    • ‘Original charges of indecent assault and kidnap were dropped and Atkinson was found guilty of a lesser charge of false imprisonment.’
    • ‘Not that resort to violence and kidnap hadn't already undermined their credibility.’
    • ‘So all of our staff, with the exception of kidnap, are on a 45 minute notice to scramble.’
    • ‘The kidnap made front-page news and the conspiracy theories began.’
    • ‘A man has been taken into custody and has been charged with attempted kidnap.’
    • ‘Currently families who compel their children to marry can be charged only with offences such as assault or kidnap.’
    • ‘Her parents were arrested on suspicion of kidnap and given police bail until last week, when they were ruled out of the investigation.’
    • ‘He pleaded guilty to three robberies, kidnap and one offence of aggravated burglary.’
    • ‘Details were released as detectives confirmed they now believed there was a sexual motive behind Hannah's kidnap and murder.’
    • ‘At the same time, you want us to deal with terror, with murder, with kidnap, with rape.’
    • ‘At present, those guilty of forcing someone into marriage can be prosecuted for kidnap, false imprisonment or rape.’
    • ‘Not a day passes without reports of mugging, murder, dacoity, extortion and kidnap making it to the front page.’
    • ‘Many of the accused are alleged to have committed murder, kidnap and torture during the late 1970s.’
    • ‘Mason took the phone with him when he went on holiday with Miss Lucas the week after the alleged kidnap.’
    • ‘He was given a life term for kidnap and other offences and has been behind bars for seven years.’
    • ‘Their tactics of kidnap and blackmail shocked the world and I remember the cold shiver the very mention of their name sent down my spine as a child.’
    • ‘By accepting the mission, Charles is pitched into a world of kidnap, mystery and murder.’
    kidnapping, kidnap, abduction, hostage-taking
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Late 17th century: back-formation from kidnapper, from kid + slang nap nab, seize.