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

The driver then allegedly tried to sell the pup for $100 on Craigslist A 2-year-old dachshund is back home after being abducted — allegedly by a delivery driver for Amazon who later tried to sell the pooch on Craigslist. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Amazon Delivery Driver Allegedly Stole a Couple's Dog and Tried to Sell It Online," 31 July 2019 The two men had been held by the kidnappers for nearly a week after being abducted on a road while traveling from the central city of Jos to a funeral in the southeastern state of Enugu. Gerald Imray, chicagotribune.com, "Nigeria captain played World Cup match after learning, being forced to keep quiet about father’s kidnapping," 3 July 2018 Japan says at least 12 of its citizens could still be alive in North Korea after being abducted by Pyongyang decades earlier. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "SoftBank’s Son: Still Weighing Options on Sale of Flipkart Stake," 15 May 2018 The victim stated McNeil abducted her from the parking lot and was armed with a black handgun. al, "Man arrested after kidnapped woman escapes by jumping out of vehicle," 29 Aug. 2019 Yosef Haim Ben David and two underage accomplices were convicted in 2016 of abducting Abu Khdeir and burning him to death. Washington Post, "HBO drama looks at killings of teens that ignited Gaza war," 7 Aug. 2019 Smart and his family have been in the public eye since the kidnapping of his daughter, Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from their home in Salt Lake City home at the age of 14 in 2002. Vanna Quiroz, CBS News, "Ed Smart, Elizabeth Smart's father, reveals he is gay," 17 Aug. 2019 Another blue bracelet is for the Denise Amber Lee Foundation, created after the death of a Florida mother who was abducted from her home. Sharon Coolidge, USA TODAY, "Cincinnati family sues city after son's 911 calls failed to save him," 13 Aug. 2019 Police are searching for a 13-year-old girl who was reportedly abducted Tuesday from Montgomery. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "Amber Alert issued for teenager abducted from Montgomery by one-legged woman," 13 Aug. 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

19 Sep 2019

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 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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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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