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 arrestor (audio) \ noun
arrestment \ ə-​ˈres(t)-​mənt How to pronounce arrestment (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 James Anthony Jones, of Orange County, was arrested Oct. 17, accused of molesting two girls at the Magic Kingdom the day before. Jeff Weiner, orlandosentinel.com, "Man accused of groping girls at Disney World faces new charges after more victims identified," 7 Nov. 2019 Groups organising the protests were banned and their leaders arrested. The Economist, "English-speaking villages are burning in Cameroon," 7 Nov. 2019 Its coach, Jason Gardner, had been found asleep at the wheel of his car and arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Byron Rimm trying to steady IUPUI basketball after turbulent offseason," 4 Nov. 2019 Tocci also said none of the witnesses could identify Hill in a photo lineup, and alleged that investigators rushed to judgment in arresting his client. Elizabeth Zavala, ExpressNews.com, "Trial opens for San Antonio man accused of killing UTSA lacrosse coach in 2012," 4 Nov. 2019 Osman Cheng, another candidate who is running as an independent but is part of a pro-democracy coalition, was also pepper-sprayed and arrested. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Candidates in Hong Kong’s elections are getting knifed, beaten, and now bitten," 3 Nov. 2019 In August, a suburban Boston hit-and-run driver was arrested in an accident that killed an avid runner whose body was found on a neighbor’s lawn. William J. Kole, The Know, "Elite runner’s close call inspires road safety campaign," 3 Nov. 2019 After roughly 15 minutes, police officers started arresting people. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Jane Fonda, Rosanna Arquette, Catherine Keener Arrested Inside Hart Senate Office Building," 1 Nov. 2019 Kylie's security guard reportedly removed the man from the property before anything more happened, and the intruder was then arrested by police. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Filed a Restraining Order Against a Man Who Came to Her Home," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Similar concerns for school safety also led to the arrests of three students Sunday in California. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "18-year-old woman allegedly wanted to "shoot 400 people for fun." Police found an AK-47 in her home.," 17 Sep. 2019 The arrests stem from an incident in early July, said Dan Baumann, a police captain at Wisconsin’s Waukesha Police Department, in a news conference. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Hunt for Cause of Vaping Illness Suggests Multiple Mechanisms of Damage," 17 Sep. 2019 Slow service at a Checkers restaurant in Hollywood may have helped fuel the attack that led to the arrest of two women. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Women accused of attacking worker in busy fast-food kitchen," 17 Sep. 2019 The death of a 3-year-old St. Louis boy who accidentally shot himself has led to the arrest of the child’s father. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "St. Louis cops arrest dad of boy, 3, who killed himself in accidental shooting," 16 Sep. 2019 The raid appeared to be part of a corruption probe that included the arrest on Thursday of Vance Pearson, a member of the union’s international executive board, on charges of embezzlement. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, "Tens of thousands of General Motors auto workers go on strike," 16 Sep. 2019 Police on Monday announced the arrests of Andrew Ryan Kabcenel, 31, of Montevallo, and Edward Porter, 49, of Bessemer. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "2 jailed in Alabaster trailer thefts after undercover sting," 16 Sep. 2019 Few details were released about the arrest of a Central Florida man after a search for a missing mother and her four children ended in tragedy on Monday. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "What we know: Man charged after Central Florida mother, bodies of four children found," 16 Sep. 2019 The arrest of the plumbers led both to the dropping of the charges against Ellsberg and to the great unravelling known as Watergate. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "Edward Snowden and the Rise of Whistle-Blower Culture," 16 Sep. 2019

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 and Noun

Middle English aresten, from Anglo-French arester to stop, arrest, from Vulgar Latin *arrestare, from Latin ad- + restare to remain — more at rest

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Statistics for arrest

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for arrest

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

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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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