arrest

verb
ar·​rest | \ ə-ˈrest How to pronounce arrest (audio) \
arrested; arresting; arrests

Definition of arrest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : seize, capture specifically : to take or keep in custody by authority of law Police arrested the suspect.
2a : to bring to a stop Sickness arrested his activities.
b : check, slow Its growth was arrested.
c : to make inactive an arrested tumor
3 : to catch suddenly and engagingly arrest attention

arrest

noun

Definition of arrest (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the taking or detaining in custody by authority of law The investigation led to his arrest.
2a : the act of stopping
b : the condition of being stopped or inactive — compare cardiac arrest
under arrest
: in legal custody The suspect was placed under arrest.

Other Words from arrest

Verb

arrester or less commonly arrestor \ ə-​ˈre-​stər How to pronounce arrest (audio) \ noun
arrestment \ ə-​ˈres(t)-​mənt How to pronounce arrest (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for arrest

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of arrest in a Sentence

Verb The police arrested him on drug charges. The police officer said, “I'm arresting you in the name of the law.” The drugs can't arrest the disease's progress, but they can slow it down considerably. Noun The police are investigating the case but they have not yet made any arrests. She was charged with resisting arrest. The information has led to the arrest of three suspects. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Michigan State Police confirmed Thursday that officers used a helicopter and several patrol cars to arrest three men suspected of stealing a new 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor pickup, a Mustang GT500 and other vehicles. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 28 July 2022 New York City prosecutor Alvin Bragg defended his office's decision to go easy on a 16-year-old caught on video viciously assaulting a cop who confronted him for not paying the subway fare – the teen's third felony arrest in less than four months. Rebecca Rosenberg, Fox News, 28 July 2022 He was arrested Wednesday night on a second degree murder charge, arrest records show. Nicole Acevedo, NBC News, 23 July 2022 Readers of ancient literature often bump up against oddities or freakish events that arrest their attention but that, given limited time and resources, go uninvestigated. James Romm, WSJ, 22 July 2022 Yacine Jernite’s fears about bias in artificial intelligence were vividly affirmed in 2017, when a Facebook translation error led Israeli police to arrest a Palestinian construction worker. Nitasha Tiku, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 Soldiers tried to arrest Sitting Bull, one of the most renowned Lakota chiefs. Dana Hedgpeth, Anchorage Daily News, 17 July 2022 Palmer was able to answer only yes-or-no questions but provided enough testimony for police to arrest Daniel, Mellinger told CNN. Artemis Moshtaghian And Benjamin Schiller, CNN, 17 July 2022 Fox 19 reports police officers arrived at the hotel at about 3:30 p.m. Monday to arrest Cromwell. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 13 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An award-winning journalist in Guatemala has gone on a hunger strike to protest his arrest by authorities amid growing signs of a crackdown on political dissent in the country. Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, 31 July 2022 His arrest comes amid a broader crackdown on government opposition. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 30 July 2022 Police there arrested her on June 29, 43 days after Austin police obtained a warrant for her arrest on a first-degree murder charge in Texas. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 29 July 2022 According to police, Mitchell confessed to his role in the crimes and implicated the three other defendants upon his arrest. Eric Fleischauer The Decatur Daily, al, 28 July 2022 Louisiana has dropped its case against a Black man whose severe beating before his arrest in 2019 led to criminal charges and lawsuits against a state trooper. Kevin Mcgill, ajc, 28 July 2022 Jurors also heard from the deputy Cruz assaulted at the Broward Main Jail nine months after his arrest for the Stoneman Douglas shootings. Scott Travis, Sun Sentinel, 27 July 2022 Hope Solo pleaded guilty to driving while impaired at a hearing for her March arrest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Tommy Mcardle, PEOPLE.com, 27 July 2022 After his arrest, Taele’s sister wrote a letter to a Weber County judge, which stated the family was worried for his mental health. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of arrest

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for arrest

Verb

Middle English aresten, arresten "to stop, halt (something or someone), come to a halt, wait, restrain, seize (a lawbreaker), take into custody," borrowed from Anglo-French arester (also continental Old French), going back to Vulgar Latin *arrestāre, from Latin ad- ad- (in Vulgar Latin marking or reinforcing transitivity) + restāre "to remain, be left unchanged" — more at rest entry 4

Noun

Middle English arest, arrest, borrowed from Anglo-French arest, areste, noun derivative of arester "to stop, hinder, seize and detain (a lawbreaker)" — more at arrest entry 1

Learn More About arrest

Time Traveler for arrest

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near arrest

arrent

arrest

arrestable

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Statistics for arrest

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Arrest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrest. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for arrest

arrest

verb
ar·​rest | \ ə-ˈrest How to pronounce arrest (audio) \
arrested; arresting

Kids Definition of arrest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to take or keep control over (someone) by authority of law She was arrested on suspicion of robbery.
2 : to stop the progress or movement of : check arrest a disease
3 : to attract and hold the attention of But I was suddenly arrested by a sight that only Grandma and I saw.— Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder

arrest

noun

Kids Definition of arrest (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of taking or holding a person by authority of law

arrest

transitive verb
ar·​rest | \ ə-ˈrest How to pronounce arrest (audio) \

Medical Definition of arrest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bring to a standstill or state of inactivity arrested tuberculosis arrested labor

intransitive verb

: to undergo cardiac arrest the … patient has arrested while being transported to surgery— Wayne Fields

Other Words from arrest

arrestment noun

arrest

noun

Medical Definition of arrest (Entry 2 of 2)

: the condition of being stopped developmental arrest — see cardiac arrest — compare cure entry 1 sense 1, remission

arrest

noun
ar·​rest | \ ə-ˈrest \

Legal Definition of arrest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the restraining and seizure of a person whether or not by physical force by someone acting under authority (as a police officer) in connection with a crime in such a manner that it is reasonable under the circumstances for the person to believe that he or she is not free to leave — see also miranda warnings, probable cause at cause sense 2, warrant — compare stop
citizen's arrest
: an arrest made not by a law officer but by any citizen who derives the authority to arrest from the fact of being a citizen

Note: Under common law, a citizen may make an arrest for any felony actually committed, or for a breach of the peace committed in his or her presence.

civil arrest
: the arrest and detention of a defendant in a civil suit until he or she posts bail or pays the judgment — see also capias ad respondendum

Note: Civil arrest is restricted or prohibited in most states.

custodial arrest
: an arrest of a person accompanied by or followed by taking the person into custody
false arrest
: an arrest made without legal authority

called also unlawful arrest

Note: If a person is taken into custody, no matter how briefly, a false arrest is also false imprisonment.

pretext arrest \ ˈprē-​ˌtekst-​ \
: the arrest of a person for a minor crime (as a traffic violation) for the real purpose of getting an opportunity to investigate (as through a search) the person's possible involvement in a more serious crime for which there are no lawful grounds to make an arrest

called also pretextual arrest

unlawful arrest
: false arrest in this entry
under arrest
: in the condition of being restrained under legal authority

arrest

transitive verb

Legal Definition of arrest (Entry 2 of 2)

: to place under arrest

Other Words from arrest

arrester also arrestor noun

History and Etymology for arrest

Noun

Middle French arest, from arester to stop, seize, arrest, ultimately from Latin ad to, at + restare to stay

More from Merriam-Webster on arrest

Nglish: Translation of arrest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arrest for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about arrest

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