abet

verb
\ ə-ˈbet \
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 \ -​mənt \ noun
abettor or less commonly abetter \ ə-​ˈbe-​tər \ 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

Across the decades, aided and abetted by less-than-aggressive journalism, Trump has made sure his financial history would be sensationalized far more than seen. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 The tenants are also suing the city of Chicago for abetting this process. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "News / Housing Low-income tenants say luxury developer is treating them like ‘bald-headed stepchildren’," 21 Feb. 2018 Along the way, this backdoor process has been abetted by Republican complacency, with the Affordable Clean Energy rule being just the latest example. Paul H. Tice, WSJ, "Trump’s Half-Measures Won’t Save the Coal Industry," 16 Sep. 2018 Salman was acquitted Friday of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice. Krista Torralva, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Noor Salman verdict reignites criticism of FBI's recording policy," 4 Apr. 2018 And of course his privilege had abetted his menace. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Looking Back at the Preppy Killer Case, 30 Years Later," 26 Aug. 2016 Most of all, congressional Republicans have taken to actively abetting Trump’s various efforts to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry and politicize the FBI and the Department of Justice. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There never were any “adults in the room”," 21 Dec. 2018 These days, a tenure lasting nearly a quarter century is rare; beyond a decade, critics wonder (often abetted by off-the-record carping from the players) whether the relationship is growing stale. Allan Kozinn, WSJ, "‘George Szell: The Complete Columbia Album Collection’ Review: A Maestro’s Time in Cleveland Still Shines," 22 Aug. 2018 But women didn’t start wearing their actual underwear as outerwear until the 1980s, when the corset and bra top trend took off, with Madonna as chief instigator, aided and abetted by designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier. Nancy Mcdonell, WSJ, "The Surprisingly Rich History of Women’s Underwear as Outerwear," 13 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for abet

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abet

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

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More Definitions for abet

\ ə-ˈbet \
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 \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on abet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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