apprehend

play
verb ap·pre·hend \ˌa-pri-ˈhend\

Definition of apprehend

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  arrest, seize apprehend a thief

  3. 2a :  to become aware of :  perceive She immediately apprehended the problem.b :  to anticipate especially with anxiety, dread, or fear

  4. 3 :  to grasp with the understanding :  recognize the meaning of

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  understand, grasp

Examples of apprehend in a Sentence

  1. Within hours, police had apprehended the thief.

  2. subtle differences that are difficult to apprehend

Recent Examples of apprehend from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apprehend'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

To apprehend is to seize, either physically or mentally. So to apprehend a thief is to nab him. But to apprehend a confusing news story, or to apprehend a difficult concept in physics, is to understand it—that is, to "grasp" it mentally. If you're apprehensive about something that's about to happen, it means you've grasped all the unpleasant possibilities and are waiting with anxiety or dread.

Origin and Etymology of apprehend

Middle English, from Latin apprehendere, literally, to seize, from ad- + prehendere to seize — more at get


APPREHEND Defined for English Language Learners

apprehend

play
verb

Definition of apprehend for English Language Learners

  • of police : to arrest (someone) for a crime : to catch (a criminal or suspect)

  • : to notice and understand (something)


APPREHEND Defined for Kids

apprehend

play
verb ap·pre·hend \ˌa-pri-ˈhend\

Definition of apprehend for Students

apprehended

;

apprehending

  1. 1 :  1arrest 1 Police apprehended the burglar.

  2. 2 :  to look forward to with fear and uncertainty … there was no need of all this caution from the enemies that I apprehended danger from. — Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

  3. 3 :  understand 1 apprehend the meaning


Law Dictionary

apprehend

play
transitive verb ap·pre·hend \ˌa-prə-ˈhend\

Legal Definition of apprehend

  1. :  arrest

Origin and Etymology of apprehend

Latin apprehendere to seize, arrest, from ad to + prehendere to seize



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