Synonym Chooser

How does the verb abet contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of abet are foment, incite, and instigate. While all these words mean "to spur to action," abet implies both assisting and encouraging.

aiding and abetting the enemy

When might foment be a better fit than abet?

The synonyms foment and abet are sometimes interchangeable, but foment implies persistence in goading.

fomenting rebellion

When can incite be used instead of abet?

The words incite and abet can be used in similar contexts, but incite stresses a stirring up and urging on, and may or may not imply initiating.

inciting a riot

In what contexts can instigate take the place of abet?

While in some cases nearly identical to abet, instigate definitely implies responsibility for initiating another's action and often connotes underhandedness or evil intention.

instigated a conspiracy

Thesaurus Entries Near abet

Cite this Entry

“Abet.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/abet. Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on abet

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!