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 But then that older mentor, a blue-eyed American film director named Georges Cordona, absconded with 70 16-millimeter film canisters, dashing Tan’s moviemaking dreams. Scott Tobias, New York Times, "11 Stranger-Than-Fiction Documentaries on Netflix and Hulu," 17 Apr. 2020 In perhaps the strangest twist of all, Mikovits was briefly arrested after absconding with her lab notebooks and computer files—legally the property of the institute. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Fired scientist back to peddling anti-vaxx COVID-19 conspiracy theories," 8 May 2020 Instead, Congress has settled for briefly ducking back into Washington to pass legislation, and then absconding again. Jeff Spross, TheWeek, "Shouldn't Congress be considered essential?," 2 May 2020 The Qarmatians were said to have killed scores of pilgrims and absconded with the black stone of the Kaaba—which Muslims believed was sent down from heaven. Ken Chitwood, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Pandemic Isn’t the First Time the Hajj Has Been Disrupted for Muslims," 23 Apr. 2020 Had the financial adviser absconded to a south-of-the-border resort with our meagre savings, my husband, who had also noticed the lightweight shirt and the swaying curtains, wondered jokingly, once the call was over? Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Embracing the Chaotic Side of Zoom," 20 Apr. 2020 But lawyers say visits outside DCF offices are not often granted, despite a low risk of parents absconding with or harming a child. BostonGlobe.com, "DCF moves busy offices away from city centers, making it harder for parents to see kids - The Boston Globe," 30 Oct. 2019 Some allege that this is merely a way for their competitors to abscond with valuable intellectual property. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "What is the US getting out of Trump’s trade war with China? Not much," 18 Nov. 2019 Because diamonds are portable, universally valuable and virtually untraceable, a would-be purchaser on credit could easily abscond with a cache of diamonds. Barak Richman, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Manhattan’s Diamond District Continues To Operate Like an Old World Bazaar," 16 Jan. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Abscond.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abscond. Accessed 22 Sep. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on abscond

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abscond

Nglish: Translation of abscond for Spanish Speakers

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