Verb abet Definition and Examples



Definition as verb:


abet (third-person singular simple present abets, present participle abetting, simple past and past participle abetted)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To urge on, stimulate (a person to do) something desirable. [2]
  2. (transitive) To incite; to assist or encourage by aid or countenance in crime. [3]
  3. (transitive, archaic) To support, countenance, maintain, uphold, or aid (any good cause, opinion, or action); to maintain. [3]
  4. (obsolete) To back up one's forecast of a doubtful issue, by staking money, etc., to bet.

More definition: encourage, support, or countenance by aid or approval, usually in wrongdoing, to abet a swindler; to abet a crime.

1. (transitive) to assist or encourage, esp in crime or wrongdoing Derived Formsabetment, abettal, nounabetter, especially (law) abettor, noun Word OriginC14, from Old French abeter to lure on, entice, from beter to baitCollins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source
late 14c. (implied in abetting), from Old French abeter "to bait, to harass with dogs," literally "to cause to bite," from a- "to" (see ad-) + beter "to bait," from a Germanic source, perhaps Low Franconian betan "incite," or Old Norse beita "cause to bite," from Proto-Germanic *baitjan, from PIE root *bheid- "to split" (see fissure). Related, Abetted; abetting.


He did not abet the murderers, yet he took them under his protection.

If others pay the tax which is demanded of me, from a sympathy with the State, they do but what they have already done in their own case, or rather they abet injustice to a greater extent than the State requires.

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