Definition of abet
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
abetmentplay \-mənt\ noun
abettoror less commonly
abetterplay \ə-ˈbe-tər\ noun
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.
Recent Examples of abet from the Web
The teen’s grandmother, 62-year-old Carla Bousman, faces several charges, including aiding and abetting kidnapping, child abuse resulting in death and obstruction.
A lawyer says a Turkish court has acquitted two Turkish men who were charged with aiding and abetting their younger brother in the 2005 shooting death of their sister in Germany.
After an extended, Black Lodge-abetted hot streak at a casino, Dougie-Coop finds his way back home to Dougie’s wife and son (named, for whatever bizarre reason, Janey-E and Sonny Jim, respectively).
Support for him may have been abetted by Arizona’s dismal economy.
Love letters from judges and prosecutors extolling the advanced technical skills and promising future of someone who abetted cyber crime don’t help at all.]
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.
Origin and Etymology of 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 1bait
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of abet
Seen and Heard
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