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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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for abetted
  • The rise of information theory aided and abetted a new view of life.
  • All of this is aided and abetted by the fact that pricing in higher education is completely bizarre.
  • Secondly, to the extent that there was a government role, they abetted it--they didn't try to stop it.
  • In my view, media dominance has been powerfully abetted by two major trends of the past decade.
  • What had not been predicted was the extent to which it would be abetted by espionage.
  • He also explores the extent to which they were abetted by outsiders.
  • Are accessories to the crime and who aided and abetted the wrongdoers also in used.
  • His knack for dominating the centre-ground has been abetted by a self-destructive opposition.
  • They were abetted by big northern urban political machines.
  • The only exception was when the crime was fraud and was said to have been abetted by the crooks' good looks.
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
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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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