[ ab-skond ]
/ æbˈskɒnd /
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See synonyms for: abscond / absconded / absconder on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
to depart in a sudden and secret manner, especially to avoid capture and legal prosecution: The cashier absconded with the money.
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Origin of abscond

First recorded in 1605–15; from Latin abscondere “to hide or stow away,” equivalent to abs- abs- + condere “to stow” (con- con- + -dere “to put”; see do1)


ab·scond·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does abscond mean?

Abscond means to leave secretly and suddenly, especially to avoid being caught, punished, or put on trial.

The word typically implies that someone has left because they have done something wrong and want to avoid any consequences. Criminals abscond to get away with their crimes. A more informal term for abscond is make one’s getaway.

Abscond is often followed by the word with and the thing that the person has absconded with, such as the things they’ve stolen, as in It’s too late—he’s already absconded with the diamond!

In a legal context, abscond is often used to mean that someone has left to avoid prosecution or legal proceedings that have already begun.

Abscond is sometimes used in a humorous way to liken someone to a criminal, as in Jeff absconded with the rest of the doughnuts or The dog absconded with my cheeseburger.

A person who absconds can be called an absconder or an abscondee.

Example: The thieves absconded with the loot before the authorities arrived at the scene.

Where does abscond come from?

The first records of the word abscond come from around the 1600s. It comes from the Latin verb abscondere, meaning “to hide or stow away.”

After a person absconds, they usually go into hiding. In fact, the noun abscondence means hiding, especially to avoid the consequences of one’s wrongdoing. Sometimes, abscond means much the same thing as escape, especially when it’s used in the context of a prisoner absconding from a prison or jail.

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How is abscond used in real life?

Abscond is typically used in the context of crimes or actions that are humorously likened to crimes.



Try using abscond!

Is abscond used correctly in the following sentence?

The defendant absconded right before the trial was set to begin.

How to use abscond in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for abscond

/ (əbˈskɒnd) /

(intr) to run away secretly, esp from an open institution or to avoid prosecution or punishment

Derived forms of abscond

absconder, noun

Word Origin for abscond

C16: from Latin abscondere to hide, put away, from abs- ab- 1 + condere to stow
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