ab·​scond | \ab-ˈskänd, 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

On that March 26 evening when Swanson and Bishop were at the Hay-Adams, a customer was accused of absconding on a $500 bar bill of wine and oysters by signing a check to an empty room. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "A stolen shot of $1,200 whiskey just the start of man’s bar travels across the District, police say," 29 Mar. 2018 The lawsuit against California, the mayor of Oakland warning the immigrants of the raids, 800 absconded. Fox News, "Laura Ingraham: The radical takeover of California," 8 Mar. 2018 His father, who was convicted and placed on probation, has since absconded and is currently a fugitive. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "‘He’s just a doer’: Meet Seattle police-chief candidate Ely Reyes," 9 July 2018 Daniel Isaiah Norris was also a wanted man, sought by the Idaho Department of Correction for absconding on parole. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "Meridian officer, chasing fugitive alone, didn't know who he'd shot until it was over," 3 July 2018 Police in Virginia Beach are currently searching for a woman suspected of crashing a wedding and absconding with the bride and groom’s gift envelopes presumably loaded with cash, checks and gift cards. Fox News, "Wedding crasher steals gift envelopes intended for bride and groom, disappears," 4 June 2018 In 2015, the landscapers planted Bounce Impatiens, but once again the thieves came by and absconded them. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "A Lake Bluff housing complex plants new flowers each year. Six times since 2013, the flowers have been stolen.," 26 June 2018 Just 2 percent of participants absconded during the process. NBC News, "This Obama-era pilot program kept asylum-seeking migrant families together. Trump canceled it.," 24 June 2018 According to the report, Stanley jumped out of the car and his attempt to abscond by foot ended at 1426 NW 70th St. Delancy's run ended with a crash into another automobile at Northwest 67th Street and 10th Avenue. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Two men in a moving SUV, two men in a parked car, two second degree murder charges | Miami Herald," 17 May 2018

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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Statistics for abscond

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for abscond

The first known use of abscond was in 1652

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More Definitions for abscond

ab·​scond | \ab-ˈskänd, əb- \

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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Comments on abscond

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something that serves to warn or remind

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