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[uh-bet] /əˈbɛt/
verb (used with object), abetted, abetting.
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; 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
help, aid, assist; promote.
hinder, discourage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for abetted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You have abetted him in it, and very kind of you it was to do so.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Their being aided and abetted by Lysander was sufficient; he sent them away discomfited.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • Mre administered the necessary rebuke, aided and abetted by the daughters.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • "Your Aunt Zilpah has aided and abetted you in your flirting," raged the captain.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Fortunately, his desire to remain in the background was abetted by Tex Lynch.

    Shoe-Bar Stratton

    Joseph Bushnell Ames
British Dictionary definitions for abetted


verb abets, abetting, abetted
(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 abetted



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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