November 21, 2017
abet (verb)
\uh-BET\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to actively encourage or aid
How do you use it?
The thief's sister was charged with aiding and abetting her brother to make his getaway.
Are you a word wiz?

What do you think the root word that gave us "abet" meant?

If you chose B, you're on target! The English word "abet" came to us ultimately from the Latin prefix "ad-" and the Anglo-French verb "beter," meaning "to bait." (Anglo-French was the type of French spoken in Britain around 1000 A.D.) When it first came into English, it was used to refer to egging someone on or encouraging them to do something bad. The connotation of "encouraging" grew into "helping," which is how we ended up at the current meaning of the word. The most common use of this in Modern English is in the legal phrase "aid and abet," which means to encourage and help someone in a crime.
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