See also: авет



From Middle English abetten, abette, from Old French abeter (to entice), from a- (to) + beter (hound on, urge, to bait), either from Middle Dutch bētan (incite) or from Old Norse beita (to cause to bite, bait, incite)[1], from Proto-Germanic *baitijaną (to cause to bite), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeyd- (to split). Cognate with Icelandic beita (to set dogs on; to feed).

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 [Term?] source.

See also bait, bet.


  • IPA(key): /əˈbɛt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛt


abet (third-person singular simple present abets, present participle abetting, simple past and past participle abetted)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To urge on, stimulate (a person to do) something desirable. [from end of 14th century to early 17th century][2]
  2. (transitive) To incite; to assist or encourage by aid or countenance in crime. [from c. 1350-1470][3]
    • 2017 September 27, David Browne, "Hugh Hefner, 'Playboy' Founder, Dead at 91," Rolling Stone
      By the early Seventies, Playboy was selling seven million copies a month and Hefner's globe-trotting lifestyle was abetted by his private jet, the Big Bunny, that contained a circular bed, an inside disco and a wet bar.
    • 1823, Ringan Gilhaize, The covenanters, by the author of Annals of the parish:
      Those who would exalt themselves by abetting the strength of the Godless, and the wrength of the oppressors.
  3. (transitive, archaic) To support, countenance, maintain, uphold, or aid (any good cause, opinion, or action); to maintain. [from late 16th century][3]
    • (Can we date this quote?), Jeremy Taylor, George Rust, editor, The whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, published 1835:
      Our duty is urged, and our confidence abetted.
  4. (obsolete) To back up one's forecast of a doubtful issue, by staking money, etc., to bet.




Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


abet (plural abets)

  1. (obsolete) Fraud or cunning. [mid-12th century to mid-14th century][3]
  2. (obsolete) An act of abetting; of helping; of giving aid. [from c. 1350-1470][3]


  1. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], →ISBN), page 2
  2. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], →ISBN), page 6
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 “abet” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, →ISBN, page 4.




(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


abet m

  1. fir-tree





  1. past participle of abe



From Latin habitus (habit, appearance).


abet m

  1. religious habit (clothing)