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 abetment (audio) \ noun
abettor or less commonly abetter \ ə-​ˈbe-​tər How to pronounce abetter (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 Hours before, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had warned that anything short of a full trial with new witnesses and evidence would abet Mr. Trump’s attempts to cover up wrongdoing. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Trump, Shifting Arguments, Urges Swift Dismissal of Impeachment Charges," 12 Jan. 2020 Hours before, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had warned that anything short of a full trial with new witnesses and evidence would abet Trump’s attempts to cover up wrongdoing. Nicholas Fandos, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump, shifting arguments, urges swift dismissal of impeachment charges," 12 Jan. 2020 Nonetheless, the news seems not to counteract or mitigate but to abet our ideological drift. Greg Jackson, Harper's magazine, "Vicious Cycles," 6 Jan. 2020 In October SenseTime and iFlytek, the artificial-intelligence firms with research partnerships at MIT, were blacklisted by the American government for allegedly abetting the abuses in Xinjiang. The Economist, "Chinese students The new red scare on American campuses," 2 Jan. 2020 There is some indication that Lao authorities might even be abetting elephant trafficking. Paul Kvinta, Outside Online, "I Bought an Elephant to Find Out How to Save Them," 12 Nov. 2019 Turns out, excess body fat impacts the body in multiple ways that may aid and abet a developing tumor. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "The Cancer-Obesity Time Bomb," 27 Sep. 2019 One hypothesis is that Trump may have threatened to withhold military aid unless the Ukrainian government abetted Giuliani’s skullduggery. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Donald Trump’s Best Ally Against Impeachment," 23 Sep. 2019 Right now, space exists mostly to aid and abet the other services in projecting power overseas, providing reconnaissance, communications, guidance and navigation. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "2020 is the year of the $1 trillion space economy," 30 Dec. 2019

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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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

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abet.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abetted. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for abet

\ 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 abetter (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on abet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abet

Spanish Central: Translation of abet

Nglish: Translation of abet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abet for Arabic Speakers

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