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.

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Other Words from abscond

absconder noun

Did You Know?

First appearing in English in the 17th century, 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.") 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 The city has long been a welcoming place for members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and also, traditionally, metropolitan adulterers absconding to the seaside for a dirty weekend. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Flush," 10 Jan. 2020 Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who absconded for a holiday as the fires raged in December, has warned the crisis could continue for months. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Plant-Based Meats Are Eating More Menu Space And It’s Not Just Because of Veganuary," 9 Jan. 2020 Clients have taken to social media ever since to claim the death and loss of the password were staged in an attempt to abscond with their digital coin. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Exhume dead cryptocurrency exec who owes us $250 million, creditors demand," 17 Dec. 2019 When Wichita returns with the news that Little Rock absconded to Graceland with a pacifist hippie, Berkeley (Avan Jogia), the group gives chase. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Will ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ be the nail in the coffin of the undead genre?," 16 Oct. 2019 The descendants of a once powerful Italian senator say the diamond is rightfully theirs, and that their stepbrother absconded with it after his mother died. Elizabeth A. Harris, New York Times, "Christie’s Auctioned a $40 Million Diamond. Was It Stolen?," 30 Oct. 2019 Body-camera video released Wednesday by the Kissimmee Police Department shows that Torres, who had been accused of absconding with his ex-girlfriend’s car, offered to climb back into the house through an open window. BostonGlobe.com, "Yadiel Torres perched nervously on the edge of the roof of his friend’s house as police surrounded him in March. It was roughly a nine-foot drop to the lawn below, and from his vantage point, he could look into the backyards of neighboring homes in Kissimmee, Florida.," 18 Oct. 2019 Myunghee absconded again in 2014, making it to South Korea the following year. Fox News, "North Korean defectors discuss psychological toll of forced abortions, sex slavery, child abandonment," 25 Nov. 2019 They could also be arrested for absconding or escaping from commitment. Monivette Cordeiro, orlandosentinel.com, "After cop handcuffed 6-year-olds at Orlando school, lawmaker seeks ban on arresting kids under 12," 24 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of abscond was in 1652

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abscond.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absconder. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for abscond

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on abscond

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abscond

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abscond

Spanish Central: Translation of abscond

Nglish: Translation of abscond for Spanish Speakers

Comments on abscond

What made you want to look up abscond? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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