noun, often attributive
ap·​pren·​tice | \ ə-ˈpren-təs How to pronounce apprentice (audio) \

Definition of apprentice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one bound by indenture (see indenture entry 1 sense 1a(3)) to serve another for a prescribed period with a view to learning an art or trade
b : one who is learning by practical experience under skilled workers a trade, art, or calling a carpenter's apprentice — compare journeyman sense 1, master entry 1 sense 1c
2 : an inexperienced person : novice an apprentice in cooking


apprenticed; apprenticing

Definition of apprentice (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to set at work as an apprentice especially : to bind to an apprenticeship by contract or indenture

intransitive verb

: to serve as an apprentice

Examples of apprentice in a Sentence

Noun decided to be an apprentice to an electrician after he graduated aware that she's only an apprentice in the medical field, she readily defers to her more experienced colleagues Verb He apprenticed with a master carpenter for two years.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An apprentice spends 40 hours per week, split between working and attending classes to complete an associate’s degree. Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 There are four artists on the staff, as well as an apprentice. Drake Bentley, Journal Sentinel, 28 July 2022 Alderman joined Hartford Stage as an artistic apprentice for the theater’s 2010-2011. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 14 July 2022 According to one apprentice, Algiere responded to safety concerns by saying the work was necessary in order to be a farmer. Elazar Sontag, Bon Appétit, 7 July 2022 And so the focus on the race for the GOP presidential nomination—currently seen as a battle royale between Trump and his sort-of apprentice, Florida governor Ron DeSantis—is intensifying. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 30 June 2022 Ahsoka isn't expected to appear in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but a reference to Anakin having an apprentice who left the Jedi Order wouldn't be surprising. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 25 May 2022 Having been an apprentice of the famous storyteller Lian Liru in China, Tang now does his best to spread the traditional practice as much as possible. Amy Wang, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 July 2022 One of Sondheim’s first theater jobs was as an apprentice at the Westport Country Playhouse in the summer of 1950. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 13 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ramsay, who also executive produces, is mentoring, alongside Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais (the winner gets to apprentice under them). Dave Quinn,, 5 Jan. 2022 Real mastery of a craft is handed down from master to apprentice over an extended period of time. George Bradt, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 Through this boot camp program, our customers are paired with workers from these communities, who can apprentice for the company while getting a college degree for free. Nerys Mutlow, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Her interest in mural painting grew from wanting to use her art to communicate to a wider public, and in 2020 she was selected to apprentice with Nani Chacon as part of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation’s Mentor Artist Fellowship program. Briana Miller | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 20 Nov. 2021 Chefs often apprentice for several years before they're permitted to handle pricier cuts of fish. Mark Robinson, CNN, 16 Sep. 2021 Aloysius Archer, a World War II veteran, seeks to apprentice with Willie Dash, a private eye, in a corrupt California town. New York Times, Star Tribune, 8 June 2021 Aloysius Archer, a World War II veteran, seeks to apprentice with Willie Dash, a private eye, in a corrupt California town. New York Times, Star Tribune, 8 June 2021 A few years after leaving Parsons, in an effort to further understand his vocation’s roots, Kaiser moved to Japan to apprentice with two master potters for a year each. New York Times, 25 Aug. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of apprentice


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1596, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for apprentice

Noun and Verb

Middle English aprentis, from Anglo-French apprentiz, from aprendre to learn, from Latin apprendere, apprehendere — see apprehend

Learn More About apprentice

Time Traveler for apprentice

Time Traveler

The first known use of apprentice was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near apprentice




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for apprentice

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Apprentice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for apprentice


ap·​pren·​tice | \ ə-ˈpren-təs How to pronounce apprentice (audio) \

Kids Definition of apprentice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is learning a trade or art by experience under a skilled worker


apprenticed; apprenticing

Kids Definition of apprentice (Entry 2 of 2)

: to set at work as an apprentice He was apprenticed to a carpenter.

More from Merriam-Webster on apprentice

Nglish: Translation of apprentice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apprentice for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!