ab·​scond | \ ab-ˈskänd How to pronounce abscond (audio) , əb- \
absconded; absconding; absconds

Definition of abscond

intransitive verb

: to depart secretly and hide oneself He absconded with the stolen money.

Other Words from abscond

absconder noun

Did you know?

Abscond derives from Latin abscondere, meaning "to hide away," a product of the prefix ab- and condere, a verb meaning "to conceal." (Condere is also the root for recondite, a word meaning "concealed" as well as "hard to understand" or "obscure.") Abscond retained the meaning of its Latin parent when it was first used in English in the 17th century. In general usage, abscond refers to any act of running away and hiding (usually from the law and often with funds), but in legal circles, the word is used specifically when someone who has already become the focus of a legal proceeding hides or takes off in order to evade the legal process, as in "absconded from parole."

Examples of abscond in a Sentence

The suspect absconded to Canada. Several prisoners absconded from the jail.
Recent Examples on the Web Husqvarna’s device sounds an alarm if someone tries to abscond with the mower and has a GPS device built in. Chris Morris, Fortune, 19 July 2022 Our Reviews of the 10 Best-Picture Oscar Nominees Before that, but after the Oscars, Buckley plans to abscond to her 500-year-old house in rural England. New York Times, 22 Mar. 2022 Even fraudsters holding billions in crypto won’t blush at the chance to abscond with a little more fiat. Ben Mckenzie, The New Republic, 10 Mar. 2022 After his many years of romantic hijinks, none of us should be surprised if Mr. Big actually faked his death to abscond with his Peloton instructor, yet again leaving Carrie to pick up the pieces on her own. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, 13 Dec. 2021 Everyone knows full well that Michael has left their kids with the nanny to abscond to whatever King Street haunt tickles his fancy. Shamira Ibrahim, Vulture, 24 Oct. 2021 The rest of the family, whose yacht vacation is unfortunately truncated, tries to decide how to respond, and which country without an extradition treaty to abscond to. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 15 Oct. 2021 He had been implicated in a criminal affair and had to abscond, sort of betraying his closest friend. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 9 Sep. 2021 DeFi projects are frequently run by anonymous teams that sometimes abscond with investors’ funds in scams known as rug pulls. Alexander Osipovich, WSJ, 17 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abscond.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of abscond

1652, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abscond

borrowed from Latin abscondere "to conceal, hide," from abs- (variant of ab- ab- before c- and t-) + condere "to put, store up, put away, conceal" — more at recondite

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Time Traveler for abscond

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The first known use of abscond was in 1652

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Dictionary Entries Near abscond

abscission zone



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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abscond.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abscond. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for abscond


intransitive verb
ab·​scond | \ ab-ˈskänd, əb- How to pronounce abscond (audio) \

Legal Definition of abscond

: to depart secretly : withdraw and hide oneself specifically : to evade the legal process of a court by hiding within or secretly leaving its jurisdiction absconded with the funds abscond from New York abscond to Canada

Other Words from abscond

absconder noun

More from Merriam-Webster on abscond

Nglish: Translation of abscond for Spanish Speakers


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