Either from Middle French abscondre or directly from Latin abscondere, present active infinitive of abscondō (“hide”); formed from abs, ab (“away”) + condō (“put together, store”), from con (“together”) + dō (“put”).
- Cognate with sconce (“a type of light fixture”).
- (intransitive, reflexive, archaic) To hide, to be in hiding or concealment.
- (intransitive, reflexive) To flee, often secretly; to steal away, particularly to avoid arrest or prosecution. [From mid 16th century.]
- (intransitive) To withdraw from. [From mid 16th century.]
- (transitive, obsolete) To conceal; to take away. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
1759, William Porterfield, G. Hamilton, John Balfour, editor, treatise on the eye, the manner and phaenomena of vision, volume 2:
- 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
1684, John Esquemeling, Henry Powell, The Buccaneers of America, published 2010, page 161:
- 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
- (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 successfully, 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.
2008, Somar, The Mystical Harvest, page 431:
- The driver snatched a packet of cigarettes out of the glove compartment and absconded the driver's seat without a word
2007, Vendela Vida, Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Drive-bys, and Other Initiations, page 29:
- 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.
2011, James Morton, Susanna Lobez, Gangland Melbourne, page 47:
- In 1939 she absconded her bail in Melbourne and went to New Zealand, where she also absconded on a charge of stealing diamonds.
to withdraw from
to depart secretly
to hide (something)
- ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 , ISBN 0550142304), page 4
- “abscond” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-19-860457-0, page 8.