abduct

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from abduct

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

Synonyms for abduct

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of abduct in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Forget the fact that these terrorists were outfitted with weapons and had plans to either kill or abduct members of Congress. Ashlee Banks, Essence, "Rep. Jim Clyburn Called Sen. Ron Johnson a Racist and I am Applauding," 18 Mar. 2021 At the convention hall, Stradford’s son overheard white officials scheming to abduct Stradford. Smithsonian Magazine, "The Burning: The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921," 17 Mar. 2021 The commissions dismissed claims of any conspiracy to abduct the children. Asaf Shalev, sun-sentinel.com, "Israel to spend $50M compensating families of children who disappeared in state’s early years," 24 Feb. 2021 The Nigerian government has said no ransom was paid for their release and, in both cases, authorities blamed the attacks on armed groups, locally called bandits, who are known to abduct students for money in many Nigerian states. Morgan Winsor And James Bwala, ABC News, "Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls freed days after being kidnapped, official says," 2 Mar. 2021 And in October, law enforcement arrested a number of men, some affiliated with militias, connected to an alleged plot to abduct Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "The Depressing Whiplash of the Senate’s Capitol Riot Hearing," 23 Feb. 2021 Reports over the years have claimed Kony was hiding in Sudan's Darfur region or in a remote corner of Central African Republic, where LRA fighters continued to kill and abduct in occasional raids on villages, and where Ongwen was arrested in 2015. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, "ICC convicts Ugandan rebel commander of war crimes," 4 Feb. 2021 Two years before the murder, he was charged with trying to abduct a schoolgirl who stood less than 5 feet. BostonGlobe.com, "A special kind of evil," 1 Feb. 2021 After six members of the group were charged in October with plotting to abduct Ms. Whitmer, one of Mr. Trump’s most vocal opponents, the president insulted her and reiterated that the left posed the true threat. New York Times, "How Trump’s Focus on Antifa Distracted Attention From the Far-Right Threat," 30 Jan. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abduct

Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

29 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abduct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abduct. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for abduct

abduct

verb
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 abduct (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 abduct (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on abduct

What made you want to look up abduct? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!