ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio) , əb-; sense 2 also ˈab-ˌdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio) \
abducted; abducting; abducts

Definition of abduct

transitive verb

1 : to seize and take away (a person) by force The girl was abducted by kidnappers.
2 : to draw or spread away (a part of the body, such as a limb or the fingers) from a position near or parallel to the median axis of the body or from the axis of a limb a muscle that abducts the arm

Other Words from abduct

abductor \ ab-​ˈdək-​tər How to pronounce abduct (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for abduct


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Examples of abduct in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Saudi officials say that Khashoggi was killed during a botched attempt to abduct him. CNN, 15 Dec. 2021 The reconnaissance team tried to abduct Campion and kill Mother. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 4 Dec. 2021 The agency is asking the public for more information about Billy Jack Lincks, 75, who died in prison in 2000 and had been arrested for attempting to abduct a girl months after 6-year-old Morgan Nick went missing. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Nov. 2021 Philadelphia authorities are attempting to identify a man caught on video trying to abduct a 2-year-old boy in broad daylight, authorities said. Fox News, 27 Oct. 2021 Hansen, who died in prison in 2014, was known to abduct his victims, drive or fly them to remote wilderness locations and then make a sport out of hunting them down. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, 25 Oct. 2021 Caballero possessed a key fob to access apartments and it is believed his was used at Marcano’s unit to gain unauthorized access and abduct her, according to law enforcement officials. Melissa Noel, Essence, 4 Oct. 2021 Wayne Couzens, 48, used his position as a serving London police officer and the pretext of Covid-19 restrictions to abduct Sarah Everard from a street in the British capital earlier this year, prosecutors said. NBC News, 30 Sep. 2021 Three cars appear, and their passengers abduct Mann and company. Nick Schager, EW.com, 11 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abduct.' 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 abduct

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for abduct

borrowed from Medieval Latin abdūctus, past participle of abdūcere "to draw (a limb) away from the body," going back to Latin "to lead away, carry off, remove, entice away," from ab- ab- + dūcere "to lead" — more at tow entry 1

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Dictionary Entries Near abduct

abducent nerve



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Statistics for abduct

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abduct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abduct. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for abduct


ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt How to pronounce abduct (audio) \
abducted; abducting

Kids Definition of abduct

: to take a person away by force : kidnap

Other Words from abduct

abduction \ ab-​ˈdək-​shən \ noun


transitive verb
ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt, əb- also ˈab-ˌ \

Medical Definition of abduct

: to draw away (as a limb) from a position near or parallel to the median axis of the body the peroneus longus extends, abducts, and everts the foot— C. R. Bardeen also : to move (similar parts) apart abduct adjoining fingers

Other Words from abduct

abduction \ ab-​ˈdək-​shən, əb-​ How to pronounce abduct (audio) \ noun


transitive verb
ab·​duct | \ ab-ˈdəkt, əb- How to pronounce abduct (audio) \

Legal Definition of abduct

: to carry or lead (a person) away by threat or use of force or often by fraud also : to restrain or conceal (a person) for the purpose of preventing escape or rescue — see also kidnapping

Other Words from abduct

abductor \ -​ˈdək-​tər How to pronounce abduct (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on abduct

Nglish: Translation of abduct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abduct for Arabic Speakers


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