abet

verb
\ ə-ˈbet How to pronounce abet (audio) \
abetted; abetting

Definition of abet

transitive verb

1 : to actively second and encourage (something, such as an activity or plan) abet the commission of a crime
2 : to assist or support (someone) in the achievement of a purpose The singer was abetted by a skillful accompanist. especially : to assist, encourage, instigate, or support with criminal intent in attempting or carrying out a crime often used in the phrase aid and abet accused of aiding and abetting a criminal

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Other Words from abet

abetment \ ə-​ˈbet-​mənt How to pronounce abet (audio) \ noun
abettor or less commonly abetter \ ə-​ˈbe-​tər How to pronounce abet (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for abet

incite, instigate, abet, foment mean to spur to action. incite stresses a stirring up and urging on, and may or may not imply initiating. inciting a riot instigate definitely implies responsibility for initiating another's action and often connotes underhandedness or evil intention. instigated a conspiracy abet implies both assisting and encouraging. aiding and abetting the enemy foment implies persistence in goading. fomenting rebellion

Examples of abet in a Sentence

She abetted the thief in his getaway. Did he abet the commission of a crime? Their actions were shown to abet terrorism.
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Recent Examples on the Web Polls reveal shockingly high levels of isolation and loneliness among the U.S. population, conditions that are known to make people more susceptible the destructive, paranoid conspiracy theories that abet the right wing. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, 6 May 2021 Coopting the appeal of sweatsuit comfort, this set adds enough polish to aid and abet your return to in-person plans. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, 24 Apr. 2021 The wonder is why a serious Democratic administration would aid and abet their cause. Bret Stephens New York Times, Star Tribune, 6 Apr. 2021 Others mentioned nonreligious problems that abet the country's instability like corruption, electricity cuts and poor investment. Louisa Loveluck, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Mar. 2021 Wittingly or not, Amazon has used its power to abet this effort. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2021 Police will also determine whether firearms involved in the incident were illegally possessed and identify anyone responsible for providing them as well as anyone who has or chooses to aid and abet the individual or individuals involved. Lucas Manfredi, Fox News, 25 Jan. 2021 But Trump’s reckless attempts to sow chaos—and Republicans’ willingness to abet it—have forced a reckoning within his party and revealed the vulnerability of Americans’ centuries-old democratic traditions. Alana Abramson, Time, 5 Jan. 2021 Great, yet another way to abet that pesky online shopping habit. Aj Willingham, CNN, 2 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abet.' 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 abet

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abet

Middle English abetten, borrowed from Anglo-French abeter, from a-, prefix in transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + beter "to harass (a bear with dogs), bait," borrowed from Old Low Franconian *bētan; akin to Old English bǣtan "to set upon (with animals), bait" — more at bait entry 1

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Learn More About abet

Time Traveler for abet

Time Traveler

The first known use of abet was in the 14th century

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Statistics for abet

Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abet. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for abet

abet

transitive verb
\ ə-ˈbet How to pronounce abet (audio) \
abetted; abetting

Legal Definition of abet

: to assist, encourage, instigate, or support with criminal intent in attempting or carrying out a crime often used in the phrase aid and abet

Other Words from abet

abetment noun
abettor also abetter \ ə-​ˈbe-​tər How to pronounce abet (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on abet

Nglish: Translation of abet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abet for Arabic Speakers

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