ab·duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt , əb- ; sense 2 also ˈab-ˌ \
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 \-ˈdək-tər \ noun

Synonyms for abduct



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Examples of abduct in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Throughout, the architecture subtly frames the narrative, as in the dark, low-ceilinged spaces, whose exhibits relate how Africans were abducted, enslaved and shipped across the Atlantic. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "The national African-American museum still stirs the soul — and drops hints of what to expect at the Obama Presidential Center," 11 July 2018 In northern Iraq, meanwhile, Islamic State has carried out a spate of attacks, from abducting shepherds to ambushing and killing truck drivers belonging to pro-government tribes. Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "ISIS Remnants Fight On, Despite U.S. Campaign," 9 July 2018 Police initially believed the shooter abducted Brajaean after the robbery of her grandfather. Glenn E. Rice And Joe Robertson, kansascity, "Kansas City teen, sought in Amber Alert, charged with robbing girl's grandfather," 25 June 2018 Tokyo currently recognizes 17 people as having being abducted by North Korea. James Griffiths, CNN, "Abe wants to make Trump's North Korea talks even more complicated," 7 June 2018 Tensions spiked again this past February, after the cartel allegedly abducted and murdered two federal agents in the Pacific state of Nayarit. Amy Guthrie, The Seattle Times, "Mexican authorities arrest wife of drug kingpin," 27 May 2018 Roy and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, subsequently abducted Till, beat him and shot him. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Justice Department Has Reopened Its Investigation into the Murder of Emmett Till," 12 July 2018 Police initially believed she'd been abducted from her grandfather's home on Elmwood Avenue by the shooter. Max Londberg, kansascity, "After her grandfather was shot and Amber Alert issued for her, KC teen has been found," 23 June 2018 Hughes' sister, Christine Hughes, told the Associated Press in a January 1984 article that the family believed he had been abducted, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Dan Simon And Susannah Cullinane, CNN, "Neighbors of Cold War-era Air Force deserter knew him as 'Tim'," 12 June 2018

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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Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for abduct

The first known use of abduct was in 1765

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More Definitions for abduct


ab·duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt \
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- \ noun
ab·duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt, əb- \

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 \ noun

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alleviating pain or harshness

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