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

In 2012, his 21-year-old daughter, who was studying at Mexico’s leading public university in Mexico City, was abducted. David Luhnow, WSJ, "Latin America Is the Murder Capital of the World," 20 Sep. 2018 Troopers said Emma was abducted at a Danville gas station, adding that the suspect is believed to be Carl Ray Kennedy, 51. Bob D'angelo, ajc, "Police: Sex offender with skull tattoo abducts baby from Virginia gas station," 4 June 2018 Neelley was convicted after abducting 13-year-old Lisa Ann Millican from a shopping mall in Rome, Georgia, in September 1982, according to the Coosa Valley News. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "Ala. Woman Who Tortured and Killed Teen — Injecting Her with Drain Cleaner — Is Denied Parole," 23 May 2018 The 23-year-old man convicted of abducting a woman, stealing her car and raping her while her granddaughter was nearby in a car seat was sentenced to 65 years to life in prison Friday by a Sacramento County judge. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Sacramento man, convicted of raping a grandmother, gets 65 years to life in prison," 29 June 2018 Kansas City police said a 15-year-old girl who reportedly was abducted Thursday following a shooting at her home on Elmwood Avenue may have left willingly with a man who allegedly shot her grandfather. Glenn E. Rice And Max Londberg, kansascity, "Amber Alert canceled for KC teen. Police still searching for her, suspect in shooting," 22 June 2018 The Amber Alert was issued, fearing Brajaean may have been abducted. Glenn E. Rice And Joe Robertson, kansascity, "Kansas City teen, sought in Amber Alert, charged with robbing girl's grandfather," 25 June 2018 He was believed to have been abducted by Chinese agents for the first time in 2015 from his seaside home in Thailand. Gerry Shih, The Seattle Times, "Missing bookseller hits out at Sweden in arranged interview," 10 Feb. 2018 Abe is also likely to bring up the issue of the 17 Japanese people believed to have been abducted by North Korea. Hallie Detrick, Fortune, "Trump and Abe—and Their Respective Scandals—Are Hunkering Down at Mar-a-Lago. Here's What They'll Discuss," 17 Feb. 2017

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

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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