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 \ -​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

In case after case, ADEM gets caught, not regulating polluters, but aiding and abetting them. al.com, "Who does Alabama’s environmental watchdog work for? Not you.," 24 June 2019 Greenblatt argued last month that the agency perpetuates Palestinian victimhood, abets anti-Israel sentiment and is an inefficient drain on funds that could be better directed. Washington Post, "White House unveils $50 billion Palestinian economic plan," 23 June 2019 The charges allege that the men aided and abetted the misconduct of another employee, boat captain Kenneth Scott McKee, who was charged in November, according to the statement. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "2 more employees charged in Missouri duck boat deaths," 21 June 2019 David Bukoski, 23, of Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, was charged in Alaska federal court with aiding and abetting computer intrusions through his service, Quantum Stresser. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "FBI says Nicolet High School student sold tools for online cyberattacks," 18 June 2019 Four other Americans—three men and a woman—await trials on various charges of aiding or abetting the world’s most notorious terrorist group. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "America’s ISIS Members Are Coming Home," 11 June 2019 The seven-day trial, which went to a jury Friday, is reviving the broader debate over migrant aid: When does altruism become aiding and abetting? John Moore/getty Images, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trial revives debate: When does border humanitarian aid become a crime?," 9 June 2019 Elhassani has pleaded not guilty to federal charges accusing her of conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, and aiding and abetting individuals in providing material support to the Islamic State group. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Sister of woman accused of supporting ISIS shares her family's story: 'I've always been there for her'," 7 June 2019 Liberal politicians, abetted by the mainstream media, regularly document the alleged shortcomings of free-market capitalism. Bobby Jindal, WSJ, "American Capitalism Is Fine, Thank You," 11 Mar. 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

10 Jul 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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