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

Other Words from abduct

abductor \ ab-​ˈdək-​tər How to pronounce abduct (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for abduct


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Examples of abduct in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That March, he was arrested again in Newport News, Virginia and charged with allegedly trying to abduct and strangle his then-20-year-old wife, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, 14 Mar. 2022 According to Time, military advisers told the president that a Russian squad had been sent to abduct him, with rumors circulating that a pro-Moscow puppet government would be installed once he had been removed. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 On March 15, Colbert County was one of several north Alabama law enforcement agencies looking for a man in his fifties who reportedly tried to abduct a 14-year-old girl from her front yard in the area of Riverton Rose Trail, west of Cherokee. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 8 Apr. 2022 Regime dissidents are also targets: A plot to abduct journalist Masih Alinejad from her home in Brooklyn was previously foiled. Nr Editors, National Review, 17 Mar. 2022 The four members of anti-government groups are facing trial on federal charges accusing them in a plot to abduct Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. CBS News, 21 Mar. 2022 The records show that a box was checked identifying a risk that one of the parents would abduct the children. Mackenzie Mays, Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2022 The events of that night will be a key element when, on March 8, five men charged with plotting to abduct the Democratic governor from her vacation cottage will go on trial in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich. New York Times, 24 Jan. 2022 Military officials said the tunnel would likely have been used to abduct or kidnap Israelis. Sarah Eberspacher, The Week, 22 Mar. 2014 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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near abduct

abducent nerve



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Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abduct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abduct. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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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


transitive verb
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 abduct (audio) \ noun


transitive verb
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 abduct (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on abduct

Nglish: Translation of abduct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abduct for Arabic Speakers


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