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To encourage or incite another to commit a crime. This word is usually applied to aiding in the commission of a crime. To abet another to commit a murder is to command, procure, counsel, encourage, induce, or assist. To facilitate the commission of a crime, promote its accomplishment, or help in advancing or bringing it about.

In relation to charge of aiding and abetting, term includes knowledge of the perpetrator's wrongful purpose, and encouragement, promotion or counsel of another in the commission of the criminal offense.

A French word, abeter—to bait or excite an animal.

For example, the manager of a jewelry store fails to turn on the store's silent alarm on the night she knows her cousin plans to rob the store. Her conduct is that of abetting the Robbery. If, however, she merely forgot to turn on the alarm, she would not have abetted the crime.

The word abet is most commonly used as part of the comprehensive phrase aid and abet.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


v. to help someone commit a crime, including helping them escape from police or plan the crime. (See: aid and abet)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TO ABET, crim. law. To encourage or set another on to commit a crime. This word is always taken in a bad sense. To abet another to commit a murder, is to command, procure, or counsel him to commit it. Old Nat. Brev 21; Col Litt. 475.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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