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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Feast was shot on Dec. 9 in La Marque, about 40 miles southeast of Houston, by Officer Jose Santos who was attempting to arrest him on outstanding felony warrants. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Texas police release body camera video of fatal shooting of Joshua Feast," 23 Dec. 2020 Feast, 22, was fatally shot on Dec. 9 when a police officer in La Marque — a city about 40 miles southeast of Houston — was attempting to arrest him on outstanding warrants, the La Marque Police Department said. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Body camera video released in fatal Texas police shooting of Joshua Feast," 22 Dec. 2020 Members of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force shot and killed a fugitive suspected of homicide while attempting to arrest them Friday in Tonopah. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, "FBI task force shoots and kills New Mexico homicide fugitive in Tonopah," 5 Dec. 2020 Montgomery County Police were attempting to arrest a suspect wanted in connection with a killing in Jacksonville, Florida, when the shooting happened in Prince George’s County, the agency stated in a message posted to Twitter. baltimoresun.com, "Officer shot and wounded, Florida slaying suspect killed in Upper Marlboro," 17 Nov. 2020 The shooting occurred as officers from the department were attempting to arrest a person wanted in a homicide out of Jacksonville, Fla., Montgomery County police said on Twitter. Katie Mettler, Washington Post, "Montgomery County officer shot during attempted arrest of homicide suspect, police say," 17 Nov. 2020 Protests have erupted across the country after a white Wisconsin police officer attempting to arrest a Black man named Jacob Blake shot him seven times in the back on Aug. 23. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, "Massachusetts activates 1,000 National Guard troops amid protests," 30 Aug. 2020 The officers said a struggle ensued and shots had been fired and multiple officers were down after attempting to arrest the suspect. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago police respond to 10 shootings in about 3 hours Sunday, including 3 homicides and an attack that left 2 officers seriously wounded," 30 Aug. 2020 Officials said that police were attempting to arrest Blake at the time of the shooting, but other details about the events leading up to the gunfire are still unclear. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Officials say Jacob Blake admitted to having a knife in his possession during Kenosha shooting," 26 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Washington Post‘s editorial board published an opinion calling for Congress to impose a moratorium on the use of facial recognition software by law enforcement, following the Times story about the arrest of Nijeer Parks. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "How A.I. can speed up the COVID-19 vaccination drive," 5 Jan. 2021 Shortly after Chaudry’s arrest in September, The Daily Beast and The Washington Post ran multiple pieces highlighting various threads of criticism levied against Callimachi’s work from within and beyond the Times. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, "L’Affaire Caliphate," 5 Jan. 2021 After the arrest Maertens Aramayo had looked at Aly’s social media pages and saw that the teenager professed love for Allah. Washington Post, "Nearly a year after a young couple was killed, a guilty plea provides few answers," 4 Jan. 2021 In November, after King and a friend asked about the trespassing arrest, Johnson removed both men from the meeting. Scott Travis, sun-sentinel.com, "School principal asks judge for protection from alum: ‘I’m afraid for my life.’," 29 Dec. 2020 The statement from prosecutors about Aguirre's arrest came one day after the Electoral College voted to affirm Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Josh Campbell, CNN, "Former Houston police captain charged with pointing gun at air-conditioner repairman, believing he was a voter fraud 'mastermind'," 16 Dec. 2020 Williams was addressing Warwick’s Twitter stardom and threw in a barb about her 2002 arrest for marijuana possession. Christie D’zurilla Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Wendy Williams might want to take Dionne Warwick’s advice to stop the trash talk," 10 Dec. 2020 No other details were immediately available about her arrest in New Orleans. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "Woman arrested in stabbing death of 84-year-old Metairie grandmother didn't know victim, JPSO says," 7 Dec. 2020 The proposal appears to reflect Mexico's anger about the arrest of former Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos in Los Angeles in October. Mark Stevenson, Star Tribune, "Mexican president wants to restrict US agents in Mexico," 6 Dec. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for arrest

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for arrest

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arrest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrest. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for arrest

arrest

verb
How to pronounce arrest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of arrest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use the power of the law to take and keep (someone, such as a criminal)
formal : to stop the progress or movement of (something)
formal : to attract and hold the attention of (someone or something)

arrest

noun

English Language Learners Definition of arrest (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

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
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

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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

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

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