Definition of abet in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Encourage or assist (someone) to do something wrong, in particular, to commit a crime or other offense.

    ‘he was not guilty of murder but was guilty of aiding and abetting others’
    • ‘He should be tried for aiding and abetting criminals.’
    • ‘The one who did not return to clear his name became the only one still convicted - of aiding and abetting people now cleared of any offence.’
    • ‘And if they think that his representative is too effective, they can always charge them with aiding and abetting a terrorist.’
    • ‘The basic premise is that anyone who opposes the foreign or domestic policies of the government is ipso facto guilty of aiding and abetting the terrorists.’
    • ‘Under Section 241 of the Criminal Code of Canada, it is an offence to counsel, aide or abet anyone to commit suicide.’
    • ‘The second wife, Ella, abetted by a married sister, tries to stand up to George.’
    • ‘She says the legal system is not doing enough to protect women, and in some cases is aiding and abetting men who stalk former partners.’
    • ‘Now he had betrayed the hometown people by aiding and abetting their enemies.’
    • ‘Agents threatened her with being charged with aiding and abetting a criminal.’
    • ‘He brought himself low, but we aided and abetted him.’
    • ‘In a number of irregular conflicts, guerrillas and government forces alike regarded an unwillingness to help as aiding and abetting the enemy.’
    • ‘The accused, a music critic, was found guilty of abetting a musician to contravene the Aliens Order 1920.’
    • ‘In a whirl of publicity, abetted by her wily lawyer, Roxie becomes Chicago's latest celebrity.’
    • ‘The woman and a 30-year-old man were arrested on charges of false imprisonment, serious assault and aiding and abetting a fugitive.’
    • ‘What the agents could hear was treason, which is legally defined as ‘aiding and abetting the enemy in time of war.’’
    • ‘She is abetted in her fraud by a respectable publisher and its public relations arm, taking advantage of the ignorance of her interlocutors and reviewers regarding the most basic facts of the case.’
    • ‘The Liberals have studiously continued to ignore the idea, abetted unwittingly by Opposition parties obsessed with gazing at their own navels.’
    • ‘Some, in fact, either inadvertently or deliberately, may have been involved in aiding and abetting the terrorists.’
    • ‘I feel the police and our judicial system are aiding and abetting a government that makes criminals out of ordinary members of the public.’
    • ‘The press should not buy the argument that its reporting on war is aiding and abetting the enemy.’
    assist, aid, help, lend a hand, support, back, encourage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Encourage or assist someone to commit (a crime)
      ‘we are aiding and abetting this illegal traffic’
      • ‘Police seized computer gear and hundreds of photos, and charged two people with abetting prostitution.’
      • ‘The court sentenced the girl to a prison term of five to 10 years for abetting the murder of her former boyfriend by urging her gangster lover to commit the crime.’
      • ‘The implication is that business schools are aiding and abetting accounting fraud and other misdeeds by failing to teach their students not to commit crimes.’
      • ‘Publishing or even sharing that information, then, is legally tantamount to abetting theft.’
      • ‘Is the language of Political Correctness aiding and abetting its proliferation?’
      • ‘Central banks that have acquiesced in, or abetted, high inflation are practicing a form of financial corruption that eventually leads to financial ruin.’
      • ‘All individuals convicted of performing, aiding, or abetting the rape were subject to life in prison.’
      • ‘If poverty leads to lead exposure, and lead abets crime and poor health, then lead can be said to nudge indigent people toward crimes.’
      • ‘The company is filing suit against banks it had dealings with, alleging they either abetted fraud or received payment at the expense of creditors, allegedly contributing to the collapse of the company.’
      • ‘In many cases the police itself is the culprit in aiding and abetting the crime.’
      • ‘As the accessory foresaw only minor physical harm, he was guilty of aiding and abetting manslaughter.’
      • ‘As a journalist, she is under no written or unwritten rules of restraint to aid or abet a felony.’
      • ‘We're to avoid any action that could be construed as aiding and abetting a kidnap negotiation, those are our strict instructions from the State Department.’
      • ‘But consider this: if someone encourages another to kill my child, most people would see that as aiding and abetting a murder.’
      • ‘Both accused Johnson of fostering a leniency that abetted crime.’
      • ‘Customarily, I wouldn't report on it, however, I think the Internet will be partially implicated in abetting the crime.’
      • ‘Creating a virus, they theorize, might be considered a form of abetting a crime by providing materials.’
      • ‘The press abets the hoax because it must report what candidates say and because it favors campaign combat over substance.’
      • ‘It was reported in overseas media that some international tobacco firms have actually been engaged in aiding and abetting cigarette smuggling.’
      • ‘In any jurisdiction in the country, aiding and abetting a felony is a crime, subject to prosecution, trial, and imprisonment.’
      support, give one's support to, take the side of, side with, be on the side of, stand by, stand up for, stick up for, be supportive of, encourage, back, back up, give one's backing to, uphold, be loyal to, defend, come to the defence of, champion, ally with, ally oneself with, associate oneself with, favour, aid and abet
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘urge to do something good or bad’): from Old French abeter, from a- (from Latin ad ‘to, at’) + beter ‘hound, urge on’.