AskDefine | Define hijack

Dictionary Definition

hijack n : seizure of a vehicle in transit either to rob it or divert it to an alternate destination [syn: highjack] v : take arbitrarily or by force; "The Cubans commandeered the plane and flew it to Miami" [syn: commandeer, highjack, pirate]

User Contributed Dictionary



Alternative spellings


There are two folk etymologies:
  • That it arose from someone wanting a lift on a truck calling "Hi, Jack" (the exclamation plus the name), until this was used often as a trick by robbers.
  • That it comes from seamen who were robbed by prostitutes in former centuries in London. Prostitutes would call out "Hi, Jack" to passing sailors. Instead of receiving the services they expected, some sailors were instead robbed by an accomplice.


  1. To forcibly stop and seize control of some vehicle in order to rob it or to reach a destination.
  2. To seize control of a networked computer by means of infecting it with a worm or other malware, thereby turning it into a zombie.
  3. 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).


seize control of a vehicle
to be checked


  1. An instance of hijacking; the illegal seizure of a vehicle.


instance of hijacking

Extensive Definition

Hijacking means to take over by force. Hijacking may refer to:
In internet technology:
Hijacking may also refer to:

See also

  • Hijacking (on Wiktionary), the forcible robbery from, or seizure of, a vehicle in transit.
  • Piracy is sometimes termed 'hijacking'

Derived usages, including tradenames

  • HijackThis, abbreviated HJT, a popular freeware spyware removal tool for Microsoft Windows
  • Hijack, a screen capture package for PC-type computers.
  • Lojack, a device to assist in the recovery of stolen cars.
hijack in German: Hijacking
hijack in Spanish: Hijacking
hijack in Basque: Hijacking
hijack in Italian: Hijacker
hijack in Portuguese: Hijacker
hijack in Yiddish: הייזשעקונג

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

blackjack, bludgeon, bulldoze, bully, coerce, commit robbery, dragoon, heist, hold up, intimidate, knock over, mug, rip off, rob, shanghai, steamroller, stick up, strong-arm, use violence
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