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abet

[uh-bet]
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verb (used with object), a·bet·ted, a·bet·ting.
  1. to encourage, support, or countenance by aid or approval, usually in wrongdoing: to abet a swindler; to abet a crime.
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Origin of abet

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 formsa·bet·ment, a·bet·tal, nounun·a·bet·ted, adjectiveun·a·bet·ting, adjective

Synonyms

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help, aid, assist; promote.

Antonyms

hinder, discourage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

verb abets, abetting or abetted
  1. (tr) to assist or encourage, esp in crime or wrongdoing
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Derived Formsabetment or abettal, nounabetter or esp 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper