ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio) , əb-; sense 2 also ˈab-ˌdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio) \
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 \ ab-​ˈdək-​tər How to pronounce abductor (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for abduct


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Examples of abduct in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to those reports: A man called police at 6:11 a.m. Sept. 1, 2018, to report his girlfriend had been abducted by a man with a gun who was driving a minivan. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "3 Milwaukee police supervisors suspended after slow response to kidnapping, rape 911 call," 19 Nov. 2019 Hanako has been abducted by North Korean operatives to train their espionage missions. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘The Great Wave’ barely makes a ripple at Berkeley Rep," 21 Sep. 2019 Jacob was abducted at gunpoint by a masked man on Oct. 22, 1989, near his home in St. Joseph, Minn. Danny Heinrich confessed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis in 2016 to kidnapping and killing the boy. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "5K run to be held in Jacob Wetterling’s memory," 12 Sep. 2019 The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency alleged Catalina Chloe Rimpsey, 2, was abducted by Freddy Victory Rimpsey, Sr. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al.com, "Alabama AMBER alert: Authorities look for 2-year-old Catalina Chloe Rimpsey," 3 July 2019 Tokes was abducted shortly after leaving her job at a restaurant near the Columbus, Ohio, campus. Johnny Diaz, sun-sentinel.com, "Killing of college girl from South Florida family to be featured on NBC’s ‘Dateline’," 21 June 2019 Many of the West Side Boys, who, influenced by the rapper Tupac Shakur, styled themselves as gang members, were themselves abducted child-soldiers. Janine Di Giovanni, The New York Review of Books, "Sierra Leone, 2000: A Case History in Successful Interventionism," 7 June 2019 Prosecutors said Turner and a second defendant, Bobie Barncord, abducted Jones on Aug. 21, 2018, from the the 3600 block of Potee St. in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Man convicted of killing Tiffany Jones, whose burned body was found inside a vacant rowhome last year," 21 Nov. 2019 Anthony was originally assigned to defend Stallworth when the accused was detained on October 13, a day after McKinney was abducted from a birthday party at Tom Brown Village in Avondale and hit with seven child pornography charges. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, "Johnson: Kamille McKinney’s accused killers deserve day in court, difficult as it may be for us," 7 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for abduct

Time Traveler

The first known use of abduct was in 1765

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Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Abduct.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abduct. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for abduct


ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio) \
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-​ How to pronounce abduction (audio) \ noun
ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt, əb- How to pronounce abduct (audio) \

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 How to pronounce abductor (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on abduct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abduct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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