[ kid-nap ]
See synonyms for: kidnapkidnappedkidnappingkidnapper on

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.

Origin of kidnap

1675–85; kid1 + nap, variant of nab

Other words for kidnap

Other words from kidnap

  • kid·nap·pee, kid·nap·ee, noun
  • kid·nap·per, kid·nap·er, noun
  • un·kid·naped, adjective
  • un·kid·napped, adjective

Words that may be confused with kidnap Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use kidnap in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kidnap


/ (ˈkɪdnæp) /

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

Origin of kidnap

C17: kid 1 + obsolete nap to steal; see nab

Derived forms of kidnap

  • kidnapper or US kidnaper, noun
  • kidnapping or US kidnaping, noun

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