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2017 Word of the Year

abet

[uh-bet] /əˈbɛt/
verb (used with object), abetted, abetting.
1.
to encourage, support, or countenance by aid or approval, usually in wrongdoing:
to abet a swindler; to abet a crime.
Origin of abet
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English abette (whence Old French abeter, unless perhaps the latter, of Germanic orig., be the source for the ME), Old English *ābǣtan to hound on, equivalent to ā- a-3 + bǣtan to bait, akin to bite
Related forms
abetment, abettal, noun
unabetted, adjective
unabetting, adjective
Synonyms
help, aid, assist; promote.
Antonyms
hinder, discourage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He has killed the king's men; and if the baron should aid and abet, he will lose his castle and land.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
  • Lucy smiled at the bare-faced fraud and hastened to abet it.

    Hidden Water Dane Coolidge
  • She had striven to aid and abet this distinguished and worthy gentleman in his suit.

    Under Fire Charles King
  • And you will not abet revolutionary measures if you get into Parliament?

    Kenelm Chillingly, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • How does abet differ from incite and instigate as to the time of the action?

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
British Dictionary definitions for abet

abet

/əˈbɛt/
verb abets, abetting, abetted
1.
(transitive) to assist or encourage, esp in crime or wrongdoing
Derived Forms
abetment, abettal, noun
abetter, especially (law) abettor, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French abeter to lure on, entice, from beter to bait
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abet
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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6
7
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