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[kid-napt] /ˈkɪd næpt/
a novel (1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson.


[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Kidnapped
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was just a few days after the incident that the Arrillians Kidnapped Tyndall.

    Grove of the Unborn Lyn Venable
  • If I lose my way, or Hephzy is Kidnapped, I'll speak to the police or telephone you.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Wonder in the world to me you're not Kidnapped for pantaloonses.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Elucidate the accident, by which you had me Kidnapped to be sold into slavery.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Then she smiled faintly, and said, 'Wouldn't it be romantic to be Kidnapped?'

British Dictionary definitions for Kidnapped


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 Kidnapped



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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