To Abe't v.a. [from bꞇan, Sax. signifying to enkindle or animate.] To push forward another, to support him in his designs by connivance, encouragement, or help. It is generally taken, at least by modern writers, in an ill sense; as may be seen in Abetter.
To abet signifieth, in our common law, as much as to encourage or set on. Cowel.
Then shall I soon, quoth he, return again,
Abet that virgin's cause disconsolate,
And shortly back return unto this place,
To walk this way in pilgrim's poor estate. Fairy Q, b. i.
A widow who by solemn vows,
Contracted to me, for my spouse,
Combin'd with him to break her word,
And has abetted all. — — — Hudibras, p. iii. cant. 3.
Men lay so great weight upon their being of right opinions, and their eagerness of abetting them, that they account that unum necessarium. Decay of Piety.
In the reign of king Charles the first, though that prince was married to a daughter of France, and was personally beloved and esteemed in the French court; it is well known that they abetted both parties in the civil war, and always furnished supplies to the weaker side, least there should be an end put to these fatal divisions. Addison. Freeholder, № 28.