apprehension

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noun ap·pre·hen·sion \ˌa-pri-ˈhen(t)-shən\

Definition of apprehension

  1. 1 :  suspicion or fear especially of future evil :  foreboding an atmosphere of nervous apprehension

  2. 2 :  seizure by legal process :  arrest apprehension of a criminal

  3. 3a :  the act or power of perceiving or comprehending something a person of dull apprehensionb :  the result of apprehending something mentally :  conception according to popular apprehension

apprehension was our Word of the Day on 07/02/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of apprehension in a Sentence

  1. The thought of moving to a new city fills me with apprehension.

  2. an increased number of apprehensions

Recent Examples of apprehension from the Web

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

Latin Helps Build Apprehension

The Latin verb prehendere really grabs our attention. It means "to grasp" or "to seize," and it is an ancestor of various English words. It teamed up with the prefix ad- (which takes the form ap- before p and means "to," "toward," or "near") to form apprehendere, the Latin predecessor of our words apprehension, apprehend, and apprehensive. When prehendere joined the prefix com- ("with," "together," "jointly"), Latin got comprehendere, and English eventually got comprehend, comprehension, and comprehensive. Prehendere also gave us the words comprise, prehensile ("adapted for seizing or grasping"), prison, reprehend, and reprise, among others.

Origin and Etymology of apprehension

Middle English, from Late Latin apprehension-, apprehensio, from Latin apprehendere —see apprehend


First Known Use: 14th century


APPREHENSION Defined for Kids

apprehension

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noun ap·pre·hen·sion \ˌa-pri-ˈhen-shən\

Definition of apprehension for Students

  1. 1 :  2arrest

  2. 2 :  fear of or uncertainty about what may be coming They approached the old house with apprehension.

  3. 3 :  an understanding of something apprehension of the poem's message


Law Dictionary

apprehension

play
noun ap·pre·hen·sion \ˌa-pri-ˈhen-chən\

Legal Definition of apprehension

  1. :  arrest



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