ab·​duc·​tion | \ ab-ˈdək-shən How to pronounce abduction (audio) , 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

Synonyms for abduction


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Examples of abduction in a Sentence

discredited reports of abductions by aliens
Recent Examples on the Web This is an abduction masquerading as a criminal court. Jeneé Osterheldt, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Aug. 2022 San Jose police worked in conjunction with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI child abduction response team for more than 20 hours to locate Brandon, who was referred to as Baby Brandon throughout the search. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Aug. 2022 The kidnapping charge related to the girl's abduction was dropped as part of Ware's plea agreement. John Lynch, Arkansas Online, 18 June 2022 Information about Pearl’s abduction was immediately sent out to the Vallejo community in an Amber Alert. Kyani Reid, NBC News, 30 May 2022 Authorities have charged a North Carolina man with abduction and statutory rape of a minor after investigating reports of a missing child two days earlier. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 17 Aug. 2021 Sawyer was booked into the St. Clair County Jail on charges of kidnapping-abduction of a minor, theft of a motor vehicle and fourth-degree theft of property. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 10 July 2022 Xiao's extrajudicial abduction came amid a broader crackdown on corruption launched by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, which has snared a slew of senior officials and executives at big Chinese companies. Kathleen Magramo, CNN, 5 July 2022 Kraus is in custody and her charges are pending, including for a felony abduction warrant that had been issued Tuesday. Landon Mion, Fox News, 15 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for abduction

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The first known use of abduction was in 1632

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abduction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abduction. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for abduction


ab·​duc·​tion | \ ab-ˈdək-shən, əb- How to pronounce abduction (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on abduction

Nglish: Translation of abduction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abduction for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about abduction


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