to take illegal possession of (a vehicle)
   Standard English and doubtfully euphemistic, despite its interesting etymology. Originally, American Prohibition use, when it became easier to steal liquor from smugglers than to smuggle on your own account, and the command to raise the hands from the hi-jacker was a laconic 'High, Jack':
    Hijackers stopped cargoes at interurban boulevards. (Longstreet, 1956, describing the days of Prohibition)
   Now used of the theft of all types of motor vehicles, of aircraft piracy, and also figuratively:
    A man armed with grenades hijacked a Russian jetliner yesterday and took the plane on a three-country odyssey. (Sunledger, 21 February 1993)
   But the environmentalists are the main group to have figured out that science can be hijacked for ideological purposes. {American Spectator, February 1994)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hijack — hi·jack / hī ˌjak/ vt: to seize possession or control of (a vehicle) from another person by force or threat of force; specif: to seize possession or control of (an aircraft) esp. by forcing the pilot to divert the aircraft to another destination… …   Law dictionary

  • hijack — UK US /ˈhaɪdʒæk/ verb [T] ► to take control of something, such as another person s plan, a system, or a meeting for your own advantage: »The association is annoyed that its campaign has been hijacked by pin striped PR men. ► IT to take control of …   Financial and business terms

  • hijack — (v.) 1922, Amer.Eng., perhaps from high(way) + jacker one who holds up. Originally to rob (a bootlegger, smuggler, etc.) in transit; sense of seizing an aircraft in flight is 1968 (also in 1961 variant skyjack), extended 1970s to any form of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hijack — [v] seize control carjack, commandeer, kidnap, shanghai, skyjack, steal, take hostage; concepts 90,139 …   New thesaurus

  • hijack — ► VERB 1) illegally seize control of (an aircraft, ship, etc.) while it is in transit. 2) take over (something) and use it for a different purpose. ► NOUN ▪ an instance of hijacking. DERIVATIVES hijacker noun. ORIGIN of unknown origin …   English terms dictionary

  • hijack — ☆ hijack [hī′jak΄ ] vt. [< hobo slang for robbing sleeping men < HIGH + JACK: origin obscure] 1. to steal (goods in transit, a truck and its contents, etc.) by force 2. to steal such goods from (a person) by force 3. to cheat, swindle, etc …   English World dictionary

  • hijack — 01. All airports now have metal detectors to make sure passengers are not carrying weapons which could be used to [hijack] a plane. 02. The school bus was [hijacked] by the father of a young boy in the school, and driven to the border. 03. Police …   Grammatical examples in English

  • hijack — [[t]ha͟ɪʤæk[/t]] hijacks, hijacking, hijacked 1) VERB If someone hijacks a plane or other vehicle, they illegally take control of it by force while it is travelling from one place to another. [V n] Two men tried to hijack a plane on a flight from …   English dictionary

  • Hijack — Das Wort Hijack bezeichnet: Hijack (Band), eine britische Hip Hop Band Hijacking, ein bestimmter Angriff auf eine Domäne oder ein Benutzerkonto, mit dem Ziel dieses zu übernehmen. Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheid …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • hijack — I UK [ˈhaɪdʒæk] / US [ˈhaɪˌdʒæk] verb [transitive] Word forms hijack : present tense I/you/we/they hijack he/she/it hijacks present participle hijacking past tense hijacked past participle hijacked 1) to illegally take control of a vehicle,… …   English dictionary

  • hijack — also highjack transitive verb Etymology: origin unknown Date: 1923 1. a. to steal by stopping a vehicle on the highway b. to commandeer (a flying airplane) especially by coercing the pilot at gunpoint c. to stop and steal from (a vehicle in… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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