Definition of abduct in English:

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Pronunciation: /əbˈdʌkt/


[with object]
1Take (someone) away illegally by force or deception; kidnap: the millionaire who disappeared may have been abducted
More example sentences
  • A new law took effect last year that makes it illegal to abduct young girls and force them into marriage.
  • Families who want to marry off their daughters without paying a dowry often hire criminals to abduct eligible boys and force them into wedlock, the paper said.
  • To prove loyalty to the cause, abducted children are often forced to kill family members or each other.
2 Physiology (Of a muscle) move (a limb or part) away from the midline of the body or from another part: the posterior rectus muscle, which abducts the eye The opposite of adduct1.
More example sentences
  • The superior rectus and inferior rectus muscles abduct the eye.
  • When the arm is abducted and externally rotated the sternocostal fibres are maximally stretched.
  • The dorsal interossei abduct the toes from this axis.


Early 17th century: from Latin abduct- 'led away', from the verb abducere, from ab- 'away, from' + ducere 'to lead'.

  • duct from mid 17th century:

    Duct comes from Latin ductus meaning both ‘leading’ and ‘aqueduct’ formed from ducere ‘to lead’. The verb has produced numerous words in English including abduct (early 17th century) to lead away; conduct (Middle English) lead with; conduit (Middle English); deduce (Late Middle English) draw a conclusion from something; duke; educate (Late Middle English) ‘lead out’; induce (Late Middle English) lead in; introduce (Late Middle English) bring into (a group etc); produce (Late Middle English) ‘lead forward’; reduce (Late Middle English) bring back; seduce (Late Middle English) lead away (originally from duty, with the sexual sense developing in the M16th); subdue (Late Middle English) ‘draw from below’.

Words that rhyme with abduct

adduct, conduct, construct, destruct, duct, instruct, misconduct, obstruct

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ab¦duct

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