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

Other Words from abduct

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

Synonyms for abduct


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Examples of abduct in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Britain's statement comes amid the possibility that Russia might abduct Ukrainian mayors in the country's East and install Kremlin puppets in the latest phase of the war. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 3 May 2022 Ukraine: Russians abduct Kherson mayor Kherson Mayor Ihor Kolykhaiev has been abducted by Russian forces that occupy the southern city of almost 300,000, a mayoral adviser said. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 28 June 2022 Dan Chappel, an Army veteran, was an FBI informant who secretly recorded hours of conversations, participated in chat groups and trained to abduct Whitmer, along with Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. CBS News, 21 Mar. 2022 Davila was arrested earlier on Friday after she was found with the vehicle officers suspect was used to abduct the infant, according to police. Gloria Rebecca Gomez, The Arizona Republic, 15 June 2022 The suspects also allegedly tried to abduct the baby from a local Walmart on March 28 and on the morning of the actual kidnapping, but failed both times. Paul Best, Fox News, 13 May 2022 Who would abduct him, torture him for days and toss him onto a rubbish tip? Tom Nolan, WSJ, 27 May 2022 An irate Meehan attempted to abduct Terra Newell (as played by Julia Garner in the series) in a parking lot in 2016, leading her to fatally stab him in self-defense. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 18 May 2022 That March, he was arrested again in Newport News, Virginia and charged with allegedly trying to abduct and strangle his then-20-year-old wife, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near abduct

abducent nerve



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Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abduct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abduct. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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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


transitive verb
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


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on abduct

Nglish: Translation of abduct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abduct for Arabic Speakers


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