abduct

verb

ab·​duct ab-ˈdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio)
əb-;
sense 2 also
ˈab-ˌdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio)
abducted; abducting; abducts

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
abductor noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Shvets, a former soldier in Ukraine’s military who was loyal to Kyiv, knew the gunmen would either kill or abduct and torture him. Hanna Arhirova, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Oct. 2022 Shvets, a former soldier in Ukraine's military who was loyal to Kyiv, knew the gunmen would either kill or abduct and torture him. Hanna Arhirova, ajc, 5 Oct. 2022 Additional video, the report continued, allegedly showed the same man earlier Saturday, at about 6:50 a.m., trying to abduct another woman outside the station. John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Nov. 2022 Joe Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar were not charged with trying to abduct Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 25 Oct. 2022 Bhansali was dramatizing a legend: the story of Padmavati, a Hindu queen from the Rajput caste, who is so renowned for her beauty that Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, attacks her husband’s kingdom to abduct her. Samanth Subramanian, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2022 Historians have found that sheriffs frequently intimidated Black voters, and facilitated lynchings, often by allowing mobs to abduct people from their jails. USA Today, 3 Nov. 2022 His testimony helped the U.S. government secure the convictions of two men who led the plot to abduct the governor from her vacation home in northern Michigan in 2020 in response to her COVID-19 restrictions. Landon Mion, Fox News, 17 Sep. 2022 Anton here tried to abduct a 12-year-old and then fled from the police. NBC News, 4 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of abduct was in 1765

Dictionary Entries Near abduct

Cite this Entry

“Abduct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abduct. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

abduct

verb
ab·​duct ab-ˈdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio)
1
: to carry (a person) off by force
2
: to draw (a part of the body) away from a middle plane or line that divides the body or a bodily part into right and left halves
abduction
-ˈdək-shən
noun

Medical Definition

abduct

transitive verb
ab·​duct
ab-ˈdəkt, əb- also ˈab-ˌ
: 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
abduction noun

Legal Definition

abduct

transitive verb
ab·​duct ab-ˈdəkt, əb- How to pronounce abduct (audio)
: 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
abductor noun

More from Merriam-Webster on abduct

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