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See also: hi-jack


 hijack on Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]


Possibly from a blend of highway +‎ jacker (one who holds up)[1] (1915).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhaɪ.dʒæk/
  • (file)


hijack (third-person singular simple present hijacks, present participle hijacking, simple past and past participle hijacked)

  1. To forcibly seize control of some vehicle in order to rob it or to reach a destination (especially an airplane, truck or a boat).
  2. To seize control of some process or resource to achieve a purpose other than its originally intended one.
    hijack the radio show
  3. (computing) To seize control of a networked computer by means of infecting it with a worm or other malware, thereby turning it into a zombie.
  4. (computing) 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
  5. (politics) To introduce an amendment deleting the contents of a bill and inserting entirely new provisions.

Derived terms[edit]



hijack (plural hijacks)

  1. An instance of hijacking; the illegal seizure of a vehicle; a hijacking.
  2. An instance of a seizure and redirection of a process.
  3. (politics) An amendment which deletes the contents of a bill and inserts entirely new provisions.
  4. (poker slang) Preflop, the position two before the dealer.
  5. (obsolete) A highwayman, robber.
    • 1915 August 26, “Stick-Ups Get Good Hauls From Harvest Hands Near Yankton”, in Pierre Weekly Free Press[1], Pierre, SD, page 6:
      One lone "high-jack" held up 11 harvest hands in a freight car [...] last night, making a clean getaway with slightly over $180.



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024) “hijack”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.