ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt, əb-; sense 2 also ˈab-ˌ\
abducted; abducting; abducts

Definition of abduct

transitive verb

1 : to seize and take away (a person) by force The girl was abducted by kidnappers.
2 : to draw or spread away (a part of the body, such as a limb or the fingers) from a position near or parallel to the median axis of the body or from the axis of a limb a muscle that abducts the arm

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Other Words from abduct

abductor \ -​ˈdək-​tər \ noun

Synonyms for abduct



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Examples of abduct in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To refresh your memory: Wanda's husband, Brian David Mitchell (who was sentenced to life behind bars,) broke into Elizabeth's home in 2002 and abducted her at knifepoint. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Elizabeth Smart's Kidnapper Just Moved Next To An Elementary School In Salt Lake City," 2 Jan. 2019 The evil doctor then abducts her and keeps her captive in his home, Misery-style, eventually amputating her limbs one by one. Ashley Nkadi, Teen Vogue, "15 Scary Movies Directed by Women Perfect for Halloween," 30 Oct. 2018 Nigeria's army has staged rescues before, but many victims, including some girls abducted from Chibok in 2014, remain missing. Fox News, "Nigeria military helps rescue 1,000 Boko Haram hostages," 8 May 2018 Season Two begins sometime after the bizarre cliffhanger that ended Season One, when protagonist David (Dan Stevens) was abducted and apparently imprisoned in a softball-sized floating orb. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Legion Season 2 Review: A Trip You Need to Take," 3 Apr. 2018 At age 24, Taylor was walking home from Rock Hill Holiness Church for a Pentecostal service in Abbeville on the night of Sept. 3, 1944, when six white men abducted and raped her, the New York Times reported in Taylor’s obituary. Natalie Stone, PEOPLE.com, "Oprah Winfrey Visits Recy Taylor's Grave — the Woman She Referenced in Her Golden Globes Speech," 23 Jan. 2018 In October 2017 Joy Bishara recounted to United Nations Security Council members her experience of being one of nearly 300 girls abducted in 2014 from a boarding school in Nigeria by the Islamist group Boko Haram. The Editors, Scientific American, "A Call to Make Schools Safe Zones, Not War Zones," 1 Jan. 2018 The victim, a 22-year-old woman, was holding her 18-month-old son when she was abducted and raped at gunpoint near Race and Annunciation streets on Jan. 31, 1990. Heather Nolan, NOLA.com, "Man convicted in 1990 rape gets life sentence," 15 Oct. 2017 Green Room’s Jeremy Saulnier directs this story about a man (Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright) who is called in to find a child that has been abducted by a pack of wolves. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "New trailers: Suspiria, Slice, and Hold the Dark," 25 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abduct.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abduct

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for abduct

borrowed from Medieval Latin abdūctus, past participle of abdūcere "to draw (a limb) away from the body," going back to Latin "to lead away, carry off, remove, entice away," from ab- ab- + dūcere "to lead" — more at tow entry 1

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Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abduct

The first known use of abduct was in 1765

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More Definitions for abduct


ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt \
abducted; abducting

Kids Definition of abduct

: to take a person away by force : kidnap

Other Words from abduct

abduction \ ab-​ˈdək-​shən \ noun
ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt, əb- also ˈab-ˌ\

Medical Definition of abduct

: to draw away (as a limb) from a position near or parallel to the median axis of the body the peroneus longus extends, abducts, and everts the foot— C. R. Bardeen also : to move (similar parts) apart abduct adjoining fingers

Other Words from abduct

abduction \ ab-​ˈdək-​shən, əb-​ \ noun
ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt, əb- \

Legal Definition of abduct

: to carry or lead (a person) away by threat or use of force or often by fraud also : to restrain or conceal (a person) for the purpose of preventing escape or rescue — see also kidnapping

Other Words from abduct

abductor \ -​ˈdək-​tər \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on abduct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abduct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abduct

Spanish Central: Translation of abduct

Nglish: Translation of abduct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abduct for Arabic Speakers

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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