from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To stop and rob (a vehicle in transit).
  • transitive v. To steal (goods) from a vehicle in transit.
  • transitive v. To seize control of (a moving vehicle) by use of force, especially in order to reach an alternate destination.
  • transitive v. To steal from as if by hijacking.
  • transitive v. To swindle or subject to extortion.
  • n. The act or an instance of hijacking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To forcibly stop and seize control of some vehicle in order to rob it or to reach a destination (especially an airplane, truck or a boat).
  • v. To seize control of some process or resource to achieve a purpose other than its originally intended one.
  • v. To seize control of a networked computer by means of infecting it with a worm or other malware, thereby turning it into a zombie.
  • v. To change software settings without a user's knowledge so as to force that user to visit a certain web site (to hijack a browser).
  • v. To introduce an amendment deleting the contents of a bill and inserting entirely new provisions.
  • n. An instance of hijacking; the illegal seizure of a vehicle.
  • n. An instance of a seizure and redirection of a process.
  • n. An amendment which deletes the contents of a bill and inserts entirely new provisions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. seize control of
  • v. take arbitrarily or by force
  • n. seizure of a vehicle in transit either to rob it or divert it to an alternate destination


Probably back-formation from highjacker, perhaps from jacker, holdup man, from jack, to jacklight.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Blend of highway and jacker ("one who holds up") (Wiktionary)


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