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

While 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was in bed at her Salt Lake City home on June 4, 2002, Brian David Mitchell broke in and abducted her. Diana Pearl, PEOPLE.com, "How Jayme Closs, Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard and Others Survived Headline-Making Abductions," 19 Aug. 2019 Authorities said the suspect told them he had hit Eaton twice with his car before abducting her. Fox News, "Greek police name suspect accused of killing American scientist," 20 July 2019 The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association said its president, Peter Magombeyi, was abducted Saturday, days after receiving threats on his phone. SFChronicle.com, "News of the Day From Around the World, Sept. 16," 15 Sep. 2019 The Amber Alert said Nalani was abducted by 25-year-old Sharena Nancy. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Woman arrested in toddler's kidnapping said father ‘sold’ girl for $10G, officials say," 3 Sep. 2019 Like the Quoirin family, the McCanns have always said that their daughter was abducted. Hannah Knowles, Jennifer Hassan, Anchorage Daily News, "British teen found dead in jungle was not abducted or murdered, Malaysian police say," 15 Aug. 2019 The woman was abducted about 11:35 p.m. from the South Ewing Avenue address, police said in a community alert released two days after the assault. Madeline Buckley, chicagotribune.com, "From 10,000 SUVs to 3: How detectives caught a man who attacked a teenager," 2 Aug. 2019 Unless Peterman was actually abducted by aliens and Gruden was watching his clone at training camp. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Uh Oh, Jon Gruden Likes What He Sees in Nathan Peterman," 30 July 2019 In 2016, when 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike was abducted and murdered on the Navajo Nation Reservation—a territory around the size of West Virginia—an Amber Alert was not issued until nearly eight hours after she was reported missing. Eric Ogden, Marie Claire, "The Invisible Victims," 10 June 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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Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

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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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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a topic to which one constantly reverts

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