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 In the town of Vinto late last week, opposition protesters abducted the socialist mayor, dragged her through the streets, doused her with red paint and forcibly cut her hair. Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising protests," 11 Nov. 2019 Yazidis were driven from their homes and their women abducted to be sold and raped with organised efficiency. The Economist, "Obituary: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died on October 26th," 2 Nov. 2019 She is believed to be in extreme danger and may have been abducted by a man and woman, according to the Amber Alert. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Amber Alert issued for a 3-year-old girl abducted at a birthday party in Alabama," 14 Oct. 2019 Kidnappers abducted and impregnated 19 women and girls in Nigeria and planned to sell their babies before the victims were freed in a raid last month, according to news reports. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Real-life ‘Handmaid’s Tale’: Kidnappers impregnated 19 girls and women, planned to sell babies," 27 Sep. 2019 The two men allegedly abducted and robbed 6ix9ine after a falling out. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Tekashi 6ix9ine testified in court that Cardi B was a gang member," 20 Sep. 2019 Nobody abducted and raped a 14-year-old girl Saturday night, said Cleves police in a news release. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "Cleves police: 14-year-old girl was not raped, abducted," 11 Sep. 2019 Every avenue of protest has effectively been criminalised and once again just as Robert Mugabe did, there is an attempt to abduct, torture and criminalize dissenters. Evan Mawarire, Time, "Violence in Zimbabwe Is Escalating. But We Won't Stop Fighting for Our Freedoms," 23 Aug. 2019 In the late 1980s, American bounty hunters abducted a Mexican physician suspected of aiding in the torture and murder of a US drug enforcement agent. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Mexico wants to extradite the El Paso gunman," 5 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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Time Traveler for abduct

Time Traveler

The first known use of abduct was in 1765

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Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Abduct.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abducts. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abduct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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