Try Our Apps


What is the origin of "December"?


[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. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for Kidnapped
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Clemmie had been the object of his boyhood ardor till the day when his dashing half-brother had Kidnapped her affections.

    Captain Pott's Minister Francis L. Cooper
  • That evening the papers contained the news that Mlle. Gerbois had been Kidnapped.

    The Blonde Lady Maurice Leblanc
  • Another report was that Squire had been Kidnapped, shipped off to distant colony by direction of new Secretary of State.

  • We Kidnapped the Africans all day and spouted Islamism all night!

    Captain Canot Brantz Mayer
  • No one, however, was seen, and he feared that the whole of the Kidnapped people must have perished.

    The Three Commanders W.H.G. Kingston
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for Kidnapped

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for kidnapped