abduction

noun
ab·​duc·​tion | \ ab-ˈdək-shən, əb-\

Definition of abduction

1 : the action of abducting : the condition of being abducted
2 archaic : the unlawful carrying away of a woman for marriage or sexual intercourse

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Synonyms for abduction

Synonyms

hijacking (also highjacking), kidnapping (also kidnaping), rape, snatch [slang]

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Examples of abduction in a Sentence

discredited reports of abductions by aliens

Recent Examples on the Web

The abduction that Chris referenced happened just last month, leaving Barron's 3,400 residents on edge. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "The Heartbreaking Reason 'The Voice' Star Chris Kroeze Dedicated His Performance to His Town," 20 Nov. 2018 Kidnappings are not uncommon in Nigeria, the country where Boko Haram’s abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls shocked the world’s conscience in 2014. Daniel Victor, New York Times, "Nigeria Captain Played Key World Cup Match Hours After Learning His Father Was Kidnapped," 3 July 2018 Anyone with information about the alleged abduction is encouraged to call 911, Danville Crime Stoppers at (434) 793-0000, the Danville Police Department at (434) 799-6508 or to email the department’s crime tips line at crimetips@danvilleva.gov. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Va. AMBER Alert Baby Found Safe After Being Abducted from Mom — as Sex Offender Dad Is Arrested in N.C.," 5 June 2018 Rajapaksa has also been tied to the abduction and death of journalists during his tenure. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Dueling prime ministers and assassination plots: an escalating crisis in Sri Lanka," 1 Nov. 2018 A year before the conviction, Gardephe presided over the headline-grabbing related trial of a police officer accused of plotting abductions and cannibalism. Larry Neumeister, The Seattle Times, "Car mechanic gets 7 years in prison for kidnap-killing plot," 24 July 2018 The test comes after a series of violent mob lynchings in India were instigated by false messages about child abductions that were sent through WhatsApp. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "WhatsApp tests limiting message forwarding after violent lynchings in India," 20 July 2018 Kadyrov, a former rebel who switched his loyalties to Moscow, faces accusations of gross human rights violations, including abductions and killings. Hemza Hendawi, chicagotribune.com, "Reports: Salah considering retirement from Egypt due to Chechnya controversy," 25 June 2018 The abductions and murders are more common in Mexican states with an already high crime rate. Hannah Wiley, USA TODAY, "Why are so many priests in Mexico being murdered?," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abduction.' 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 abduction

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abduction

borrowed from Late Latin abdūctiōn-, abdūctiō "withdrawal, removal, allurement," from Latin abdūcere "to lead away" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at abduct

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Statistics for abduction

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abduction

The first known use of abduction was in 1632

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More Definitions for abduction

abduction

noun
ab·​duc·​tion | \ ab-ˈdək-shən, əb- \

Legal Definition of abduction

1a : the action of abducting abduction of a robbery victim
b : the tort or felony of abducting a person
2 : the unlawful carrying away of a wife or female child or ward for the purpose of marriage or sexual intercourse

Note: Sense 2 has its roots in common law. As statutorily defined, mainly in the nineteenth century, abduction was generally stated to include taking away or detention of a woman under a certain age, usually 16 or 18, with or without her consent or knowledge of her age.

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