Abet Definition

abets, abetted, abetting
To approve, encourage, and support (an action or a plan of action); urge and help on.
American Heritage
To incite, sanction, or help, esp. in wrongdoing.
Webster's New World
To urge, encourage, or help (a person).
Abetted the thief in robbing the bank.
American Heritage
To actively, knowingly, and/or intentionally aid, encourage, incite, instigate, or otherwise support the commission of an act.
Webster's New World Law

To incite; to assist or encourage by aid or countenance in crime. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]

(obsolete) Fraud or cunning. [First attested from 1150 to 1350.]

(obsolete) An act of abetting; of helping; of giving aid. [First attested from 1350 to 1470.]


Origin of Abet

  • Middle English abetten from Old French abeter to entice a- to (from Latin ad- ad–) beter to bait bheid- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Alternate etymology traces the Middle English and Old French words through Old English *ābǣtan (“to hound on”), from ā- + bǣtan (“to bait”), from the same Proto-Germanic source.

    From Wiktionary

  • See also bait, bet.

    From Wiktionary

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