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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from arrest

Verb

arrester or less commonly arrestor \ -​ˈres-​tər How to pronounce arrestor (audio) \ noun
arrestment \ -​ˈres(t)-​mənt How to pronounce arrestment (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for arrest

Synonyms: Verb

apprehend, bust [slang], collar, nab, nail, nick [British slang], pick up, pinch, pull in, restrain, run in, seize

Synonyms: Noun

apprehension, arrestment, bust [slang], collar, pinch

Antonyms: Verb

discharge

Antonyms: Noun

discharge

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

The shooter, who police say was known to the victim prior to the incident, was arrested for the assault. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Phone Saves Man From Incoming Arrow," 15 Mar. 2019 For his part, Giannulli was arrested Tuesday, appeared in court that day, and was required to post a $1 million bond. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Lori Loughlin and Her Husband Mossimo Giannulli Became Involved in the College Admissions Scandal," 13 Mar. 2019 Before the April incident, Alvarado was arrested in February 2018 and charged with breaking the front door with a shovel. Michele Petry, House Beautiful, "Taylor Swift's Manhattan Townhouse Has Been Broken Into—Again," 7 Mar. 2019 On Sunday, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said authorities had arrested seven members of a group linked to Islamic State. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "Suicide Bombing Kills Revolutionary Guards in Restive Iranian Province," 13 Feb. 2019 Police all around Indonesia have arrested multiple teens caught using the sanitary devices in order to get high, according to Straits Times. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Teens are Reportedly Boiling Used Tampons to Get High," 9 Jan. 2019 Once arrested for protesting a Trump rally, Tlaib claimed a congressional seat in Michigan as her own, defeating opponent Sam Johnson by a wide berth (91 percent of the vote, as of this writing). Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "The 2018 Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 Lawyers for Wine said in August that their client was arrested and badly beaten by security forces on the campaign trail. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Had to Explain Her Job to the Controversial President of Uganda in a Meeting That Also Included Kanye," 16 Oct. 2018 Earlier this month, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on suspicion of violating US sanctions on Iran, triggering an ongoing international incident. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Slack is banning some users with links to Iran even if they’ve left the country," 20 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The fund's shares dropped nine percent after news of Henriquez's arrest broke. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Hallmark Drops Lori Loughlin and Sephora Dumps Olivia Jade in Fallout from the College Scandal," 14 Mar. 2019 An arrest warrant for Loughlin was delivered on Tuesday, while Hoffman was arrested at her home. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Access to Education for Black Children Proves Difficult for Their Parents, Creating a Disadvantage," 13 Mar. 2019 Authorities have made no other arrests concerning the other episodes, with some police even questioning whether there was actually a drone at Gatwick. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Rogue Drone Sighting Shut Down All Fights at Dubai International," 15 Feb. 2019 The extended sojourn stems from a 2016 arrest on various gun and drug trafficking charges. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Stream Nef The Pharaoh & 03 Greedo's Joint EP 'Porter2Grape': Exclusive," 12 July 2018 Five of those arrested were involved in a brawl that happened near the parade’s end and at least seven of the arrests were juveniles, Boyle said. Philip Marcelo, The Seattle Times, "What a (familiar) feeling: Boston fetes Super Bowl winners," 6 Feb. 2019 Footage from the site of the arrest — an auto parts store, according to The Guardian — shows Sayoc’s van under a tarp. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "That Trump tank meme on Cesar Sayoc’s van was made as a joke, creator says," 26 Oct. 2018 Police began escorting people out and a number of arrests were made. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Must-See Protest Photos from Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 4 Sep. 2018 But only officers and deputies have the powers of arrest as a possible tool of coercion. Tom Jackman, chicagotribune.com, "In police sexual misconduct case, Michigan woman sues officer she accused of assault," 13 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about arrest

Statistics for arrest

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arrest

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for arrest

arrest

verb

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 sense 1, remission

Keep scrolling for more

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
citizenʼs 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on arrest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arrest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arrest

Spanish Central: Translation of arrest

Nglish: Translation of arrest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arrest for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about arrest

Comments on arrest

What made you want to look up arrest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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