verb (used with object), a·bet·ted, a·bet·ting.
- to encourage, support, or countenance by aid or approval, usually in wrongdoing: to abet a swindler; to abet a crime.
verb abets, abetting or abetted
- (tr) to assist or encourage, esp in crime or wrongdoing
v.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.