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 In Congo, for example, rebels hiding in the forests close to the north-eastern city of Beni frequently abduct people and hack them to death with machetes. The Economist, "Global firefighting The UN has too much on its plate," 18 June 2020 Ten people close to Juan Guaidó have been detained—half of them were abducted in the midst of the pandemic. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "Hunger, Infection, and Repression: Venezuela’s Coronavirus Calamity," 29 May 2020 Church said the family approved the wording of the post, which says the parents believe Aguchak was abducted and her body hidden. Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, "Family says 10-year-old Quinhagak girl was abducted, village in shock as homicide investigation continues," 19 Mar. 2020 The legislation was named after college student Aniah Blanchard, who was abducted and killed last year. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Prison reforms, lottery, medical marijuana sidetracked by pandemic," 13 May 2020 The grieving community of Cayce, S.C., will gather on Friday evening to remember Faye Swetlik, a 6-year-old who was abducted and killed, allegedly by a 30-year-old neighbor. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, "Mourners invited to 'child friendly' memorial for 6-year-old girl killed allegedly by neighbor," 21 Feb. 2020 Now recent media reports say a man living in rural Michigan may be the child of Chester and Dora Fronczak who was abducted on April 26, 1964, from a Chicago hospital. Michael Tarm, Detroit Free Press, "Reports: Michigan man may be baby abducted in 1964," 20 Dec. 2019 The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a suspect in the 1980 murder of a 21-year-old woman who was abducted while walking home from a Englewood bus stop. Tom Mcghee, The Denver Post, "Douglas County Sheriff announces arrest in 1980 cold case murder of college student," 16 Dec. 2019 Authorities say a man found dead in Santa Cruz County is the owner of a digital marketing company who was abducted from his home this week. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Body identified as man abducted from California home," 2 Oct. 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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abduct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abduct. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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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

Spanish Central: Translation of abduct

Nglish: Translation of abduct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abduct for Arabic Speakers

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