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kidnap

[kid-nap]
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verb (used with object), kid·napped or kid·naped, kid·nap·ping or kid·nap·ing.
  1. to steal, carry off, or abduct by force or fraud, especially for use as a hostage or to extract ransom.
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Origin of kidnap

1675–85; kid1 + nap, variant of nab
Related formskid·nap·pee, kid·nap·ee, nounkid·nap·per, kid·nap·er, nounun·kid·naped, adjectiveun·kid·napped, adjective
Can be confusedhijack kidnap shanghai skyjack

Synonyms

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seize, bear off, bear away.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for kidnapping

kidnap

verb -naps, -napping or -napped or US -naps, -naping or -naped
  1. (tr) to carry off and hold (a person), usually for ransom
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Derived Formskidnapper or US kidnaper, nounkidnapping or US kidnaping, noun

Word Origin

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 kidnapping

kidnap

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper