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

Human rights groups have long said that the United States, Britain and other Western powers are abetting in prolonging the war and suffering in Yemen, which is on the brink of famine. Washington Post, "U.N. report says U.S., Britain, France may be complicit in potential war crimes in Yemen," 4 Sep. 2019 In speech after speech, the candidates focused their fire on assailing President Trump and Republicans for their lack of action on gun control and abetting white supremacy — rather than focusing their fire on each other. New York Times, "At Iowa’s Wing Ding Dinner, Democrats Assail G.O.P. on Gun Control," 9 Aug. 2019 Other Republican officials have been aiding and abetting Trump’s pigheadedness, too, in some cases hoping to turn it to their advantage. Catherine Rampell, The Denver Post, "Rampell: Trump’s tendency to double down on bad ideas doesn’t bode well for the economy," 25 Aug. 2019 The fact of the matter is that Roberts, abetted by a conservative majority, is uninterested in policing the ground rules of modern democracy, and originalism is the figleaf intended to camouflage that desire. Guy-uriel E. Charles, Time, "SCOTUS's Ruling on Gerrymandering Endangers US Democracy," 11 July 2019 This venom is made of a toxic form of identity politics, aided and abetted by critical race and gender theory. Sahil Handa, National Review, "What Conservatives Get Wrong about the Campus Wars," 4 July 2019 That’s when the tension — abetted by mousetraps, a chain saw and monster tales — soars as high as Aaron’s beloved alps: An idyllic family vacation morphs into a quest for survival when Tristan disappears. New York Times, "The Week in Arts: Sarah Jessica Parker Back for More ‘Divorce’; a Farewell to ‘My Fair Lady’," 29 June 2019 If social media’s greatest contribution is democratizing communications, their greatest threat is in abetting cynicism and distrust. David Cole, The New York Review of Books, "David Cole," 23 May 2019 The practice allegedly continued underground for decades after the war, evolving into an illicit child trafficking operation abetted by doctors and Catholic nuns and clergy. Washington Post, "She became the face of Spain’s stolen-baby scandal. Her family says she wasn’t abducted.," 13 July 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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Learn More about abet

Statistics for abet

Last Updated

18 Sep 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 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

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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