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 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, "Congressional Republicans Won't Overturn Biden's Win. But Their Objections Are Still Dangerous," 5 Jan. 2021 Great, yet another way to abet that pesky online shopping habit. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for December 2: Covid-19, pardon probe, economy, China, Brazil," 2 Dec. 2020 The oil slick is actually water, and the tire slashers come in a presentation case and can't be fitted to the car, due to a corporate desire not to abet actual murder. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation: Fake Guns, But a Real DB5," 11 Sep. 2020 Facebook was in the midst of a crackdown on false or misleading material that could abet the spread of the virus. Peter Jamison, Washington Post, "A 26-year-old film editor’s descent into coronavirus vaccine conspiracy theories," 31 Aug. 2020 Trump officials charge that China's tech companies aid and abet the nation's communist rulers in surveilling and controlling citizens at home. Fortune, "The U.S. has long decried China’s ‘Great Firewall’—now it’s building its own," 6 Aug. 2020 The three other officers who were involved in detaining Floyd, who was suspected of using a fake $20 bill, were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "New York City sees spike in murders and shootings amid George Floyd protests: Report," 8 June 2020 Plesich was charged in federal court in 2017 with willfully aiding and abetting his clients in their attempt to evade federal taxes. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Akron attorney suspended for two years for aiding clients’ tax evasion," 27 Nov. 2019 She also was charged with aiding and abetting individuals in providing material support to ISIS. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Former Elkhart woman pleads guilty to smuggling cash and gold to help ISIS," 27 Nov. 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

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abet. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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 abet (audio) \ noun

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Comments on abet

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