The Alternative English Dictionary: abscond

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Entry definition

abscond etymology Either from Middle French abscondre or directly from Latin abscondere, present active infinitive of abscondō; formed from abs, ab + condō, from con + {{R:CDOE|page=4}}.
  • Cognate with sconce.
  • (RP) /əbˈskɒnd/
  • (US) /æbˈskɑnd/, /æbˈzkɑnd/
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, reflexive, archaic) To hide, to be in hiding or concealment.
    • 1691-1735, John Ray, The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation the Marmotto, … which absconds all Winter doth … live upon its own Fat.
  2. (intransitive, reflexive) To flee, often secretly; to steal away, particularly to avoid arrest or prosecution. {{defdate}}
    • 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, , Ch. 13 ... that very homesickness which, in regular armies, drives so many recruits to abscond at the risk of stripes and of death.
    • 1911, Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary Spring beckons! All things to the call respond;The trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.
  3. (intransitive) To withdraw from. {{defdate}}{{R:SOED5|page=8}}
    • 2006, Richard Rojcewicz, The Gods And Technology: A Reading Of Heidegger, ISBN 0791482308. Modern technology accompanies the absconding of the original attitude.
    • 2009, Sonia Brill, Relationships Without Anger, ISBN 144902789X. You cannot abscond from the responsibility both you and your partner owe to this event, and that includes dealing with anger issues and any other emotional issues that come with it.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To conceal; to take away. {{defdate}}
    • treatise on the eye, the manner and phaenomena of vision, 2, William Porterfield, G. Hamilton, John Balfour, 1759 , “for having applied to the Side of the Head any thin black Body, such as the Brim of a Hat, so as it may abscond the Objects that are upon that Side ”
    • The Buccaneers of America, 161, 1108024815, John Esquemeling, Henry Powell, 2010, 1684, They examined every prisoner by himself (who were in all about two hundred and fifty persons) where they had absconded the rest of their goods
  5. (transitive) To evade, to hide or flee from. The captain absconded his responsibility
    • 2006, Aldo E. Chircop, Olof Lindén, Places of Refuge for Ships, ISBN 900414952X. If the distress situation is solved succesfully, the anonymous shipowner will reap the commercial benefit, if the situation ends in disaster, the shipowner will hide behind an anonymous post box in a foreign country and will abscond responsibility.
    • The Mystical Harvest, 431, 0595481140, Somar, 2008, The driver snatched a packet of cigarettes out of the glove compartment and absconded the driver's seat without a word
    • Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Drive-bys, and Other Initiations, 29, 1429981970, Vendela Vida, 2007, Those who evidently did not get invited back to their top choices have already absconded the scene, tripping in their high heels as they ran.
    • Gangland Melbourne, 47, 0522858694, James Morton, Susanna Lobez, 2011, In 1939 she absconded her bail in Melbourne and went to New Zealand, where she also absconded on a charge of stealing diamonds.

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