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

Trial attorneys are abetting governments in return for a share of the potential payoff. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Government Opioid Raid," 28 Jan. 2019 The previous sanctions, which had been in place since 1997, targeted prominent individuals and companies known to abuse human rights, imprison activists, abet the old military regime, acquire weapons, and pilfer finances. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Trump administration walking back Obama-era foreign policy mistakes in Burma," 22 Aug. 2018 The scale of the effort then abets itself, setting up a destructive feedback loop. Wade Graham, Smithsonian, "Why Molokai, With All Its Wonders, Is the Least Developed of Hawai’i’s Islands," 31 Aug. 2019 In many ways, the platforms have abetted this trend. Simone Stolzoff, SFChronicle.com, "They called an UberPool and found love," 27 Aug. 2019 Both Joseph and MacGregor face counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, obstruction of a federal proceeding and aiding and abetting, according to a federal indictment. Carma Hassan And Holly Yan, CNN, "A judge accused of helping an undocumented immigrant evade ICE will be paid during her suspension," 13 Aug. 2019 As a principle, this devalues connoisseurship and abets lazy collecting. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Museum Happenings: Protesters Stage a Die-In in NYC, and Students Accuse Staff of Racism in Boston," 25 June 2019 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

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

16 Oct 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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