verb \ə-ˈrest\

: to use the power of the law to take and keep (someone, such as a criminal)

: to stop the progress or movement of (something)

: to attract and hold the attention of (someone or something)

Full Definition of ARREST

transitive verb
a :  to bring to a stop <sickness arrested his activities>
b :  check, slow
c :  to make inactive <an arrested tumor>
:  seize, capture; specifically :  to take or keep in custody by authority of law
:  to catch suddenly and engagingly <arrest attention>
ar·rest·er also ar·res·tor \-ˈres-tər\ noun
ar·rest·ment \-ˈres(t)-mənt\ noun

Examples of ARREST

  1. The police arrested him on drug charges.
  2. The police officer said, I'm arresting you in the name of the law.
  3. The drugs can't arrest the disease's progress, but they can slow it down considerably.

Origin of ARREST

Middle English aresten, from Anglo-French arester to stop, arrest, from Vulgar Latin *arrestare, from Latin ad- + restare to remain — more at rest
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi



: the act of legally taking and keeping someone (such as a criminal) : the act of arresting someone

medical : an occurrence in which a part of the body suddenly stops working

Full Definition of ARREST

a :  the act of stopping
b :  the condition of being stopped or inactive — compare cardiac arrest
:  the taking or detaining in custody by authority of law
under arrest
:  in legal custody

Examples of ARREST

  1. The police are investigating the case but they have not yet made any arrests.
  2. She was charged with resisting arrest.
  3. The information has led to the arrest of three suspects.

First Known Use of ARREST

14th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Restraint and seizure of a person by someone (e.g., a police officer) acting under legal authority. An officer may arrest a person who is committing or attempting to commit a crime in the officer's presence. Arrest is also permitted if the officer reasonably believes that a crime has been committed and that the person arrested is the guilty party. A court or judicial officer may issue an arrest warrant on a showing of probable cause. Most states restrict or prohibit arrest in civil (noncriminal) cases; an example of occasionally permitted civil arrest is the taking into custody of a debtor who might otherwise abscond. In the U.S., suspects must be warned of their rights when they are arrested (see Miranda v. Arizona). An unlawful arrest is regarded as false imprisonment and usually invalidates any evidence collected in connection with it. See also rights of the accused; grand jury; indictment.


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