- to steal, carry off, or abduct by force or fraud, especially for use as a hostage or to extract ransom.
Origin of kidnap
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
seize, bear off, bear away.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for kidnapper
He was a Burmese national—resistance fighter, drug smuggler, kidnapper, warlord.How China Used Drones to Capture a Notorious Burmese Drug Lord
April 17, 2014
He was referencing the Ohio kidnapper dude [Ariel Castro], abortion, it was just like … “oh god.”James Franco on His Necrophilia Flick ‘Child of God,’ His Roast, Gay Rumors, and More
September 9, 2013
On Tuesday night, notorious Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was found dead, hanging in his cell.
Few people who knew the Cleveland kidnapper have expressed sympathy over his suicide.Ariel Castro Friend: ‘He Felt Bad for What He Did’
September 4, 2013
The Cleveland kidnapper exhibited several risk factors before he hanged himself.
This pretended friend was recognised by one of the prisoners as a kidnapper.Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II.
Dick Boobitrapp is a kidnapper and a confederate of Vertigo.
Golah could not afford to keep slaves; and was only a kidnapper and dealer in the article.The Boy Slaves
The kidnapper undid the bloody wrappings and looked at his lacerated hand.The Call of the Wild
Was not the kidnapper a redskin—a low, mean, contemptible savage?The Red Man's Revenge
- (tr) to carry off and hold (a person), usually for ransom
C17: kid 1 + 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
Word Origin and History for kidnapper
1670s; see kidnap (though this word is attested a few years earlier).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper