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[kid-nap] /ˈkɪd næp/
verb (used with object), kidnapped or kidnaped, kidnapping or kidnaping.
to steal, carry off, or abduct by force or fraud, especially for use as a hostage or to extract ransom.
Origin of kidnap
1675-85; kid1 + nap, variant of nab
Related forms
kidnappee, kidnapee, noun
kidnapper, kidnaper, noun
unkidnaped, adjective
unkidnapped, adjective
Can be confused
hijack, kidnap, shanghai, skyjack.
seize, bear off, bear away. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for kidnaped
Historical Examples
  • Didn't you ever hear about how I landed them fellers that kidnaped my daughter Rosalie?

    The Daughter of Anderson Crow George Barr McCutcheon
  • He was kidnaped, and the police have been searching for him for days.

    The Crevice William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander
  • It seemed rather a curious place to which to take a kidnaped victim.

  • I expect he has suffered untold torments since he was kidnaped.

    Frank Merriwell Down South Burt L. Standish
  • We kidnaped Argo and left you the second jewel, hoping that you would come after the third and last one.

    The Jewels of Aptor Samuel R. Delany
  • "You don't mean to say you were kidnaped, too," cried Allingham.

    A Woman for Mayor Helen M. Winslow
  • Then, that they might win still greater wealth, they kidnaped a boy who had nothing, who was working his way through college.

    The Galloping Ghost Roy J. Snell
  • "kidnaped from his own range in broad daylight," the latter went on.

    Hidden Gold Wilder Anthony
  • When I had nursed him back to life I sent my boys out and kidnaped a preacher.

    Ted Strong in Montana Edward C. Taylor
  • She sympathized with his resentment against the man who had kidnaped him.

    Duffels Edward Eggleston
British Dictionary definitions for kidnaped


verb -naps, -napping, -napped (US) -naps, -naping, -naped
(transitive) to carry off and hold (a person), usually for ransom
Derived Forms
kidnapper, (US) kidnaper, noun
kidnapping, (US) kidnaping, noun
Word Origin
C17: kid1 + obsolete nap to steal; see nab
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for kidnaped



1680s, compound of kid (n.) "child" and nap "snatch away," variant of nab; originally "steal children to provide servants and laborers in the American colonies." Related: Kidnapped; kidnapping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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