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 abetting

Contemporary Examples of abetting

Historical Examples of abetting

  • What will your father say if he finds me aiding and abetting?

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • This is not co-operation; it is aiding and abetting 'refusal' tactics.

    On the Heels of De Wet

    The Intelligence Officer

  • Why, yes, my dear; that would be aiding and abetting, you know.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • It seemed as if Miss Sharp was abetting him, for she came to my side—.

    Man and Maid

    Elinor Glyn

  • My nephew, not only aiding and abetting these ruffians, but seeking to palliate their crimes!

    The Magic Pudding

    Norman Lindsay

British Dictionary definitions for abetting


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 abetting



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