verb (used with object)

to carry off or lead away (a person) illegally and in secret or by force, especially to kidnap.
Physiology. to move or draw away from the axis of the body or limb (opposed to adduct).

Origin of abduct

1825–35; < Latin abductus, past participle of abdūcere to abduce
Related formsun·ab·duct·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for abduct

snatch, kidnap, seize, grab, shanghai, remove, sneeze, dognap

Examples from the Web for abduct

Contemporary Examples of abduct

Historical Examples of abduct

  • If they could abduct in silence, they could have killed silently.

  • Abduct a young woman, risk prison, and then afraid to lay hands on her!

    The Pagan Madonna

    Harold MacGrath

  • That means that nobody gets a show to abduct 'em while you're around, I take it?

    Julia The Apostate

    Josephine Daskam

  • And you would not have found it necessary to abduct my daughter.

  • She was to furnish money to send the girl to school, from which I was shortly to abduct her.

    Daisy Brooks

    Laura Jean Libbey

British Dictionary definitions for abduct


verb (tr)

to remove (a person) by force or cunning; kidnap
(of certain muscles) to pull (a leg, arm, etc) away from the median axis of the bodyCompare adduct
Derived Formsabductor, noun

Word Origin for abduct

C19: from the past participle of Latin abdūcere to lead away
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 abduct

"to kidnap," 1834, probably a back-formation from abduction; cf. abduce. Related: Abducted; abducting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

abduct in Medicine




To draw away from the midline of the body or from an adjacent part or limb.
Related formsab•duction n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.