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From Old French abeter from a- + beter (“‘to bait an animal’”), from Old Norse beīta (“‘to bite’”), hence to bait, to incite, compare Icelandic beita (“‘to set dogs on, to feed’”). from Proto-Germanic *baitjan, from Proto-Indo-European *bheid- (“‘to split’”).
See also bait, bet.
Third person singular
- (transitive) To assist or encourage by aid or countenance, especially in crime.
- He plans to abet an ill-doer.
- He plans to abet in his wicked courses.
- He plans to abet vice.
- He plans to abet an insurrection.
- The robber’s friend will abet by providing the escape car.
- South: The whole tribe abets the villany.
- Gay: Would not the fool abet the stealth, Who rashly thus exposed his wealth?
- (transitive) To support, uphold, or aid; to maintain.
- Jer. Taylor: Our duty is urged, and our confidence abetted.
- (to instigate or encourage by aid or countenance): incite; instigate; set on; egg on; foment; advocate; countenance; encourage; second; uphold; aid; assist; support; sustain; back; connive at.
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