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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 abetting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No wonder that Polk dropped a hint about aiding and abetting the enemy.

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

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • "But they ought to have got their gowns at the same place," said Miss Marshall, who was abetting Raridan in his comments.

    The Main Chance Meredith Nicholson
  • Anne now added, understanding Mrs. Brewster's idea and abetting it.

    Polly and Eleanor Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • Any one aiding or abetting such a person is severely punished.

    Life in a Thousand Worlds William Shuler Harris
British Dictionary definitions for abetting


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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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
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