verb (used with object), a·bet·ted, a·bet·ting.

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

Synonyms for abet

Antonyms for abet

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abetted

Contemporary Examples of abetted

Historical Examples of abetted

  • 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.



  • 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.

  • 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 or abetted

(tr) to assist or encourage, esp in crime or wrongdoing
Derived Formsabetment or abettal, nounabetter or esp law abettor, noun

Word Origin for abet

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 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