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 The law enforcement officers were originally at the home to arrest a suspect in relation to a felony warrant. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 23 June 2022 Hilliard, who has 16 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, was trying to arrest a suspect who was wanted on several felony warrants in multiple jurisdictions Sunday when the suspect shot and killed Hilliard after a foot chase. Lilly Price, Baltimore Sun, 13 June 2022 Details of the case are contained in an affidavit from Deputy City Attorney Cameron Haas seeking a warrant to arrest the instructor. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 June 2022 Officers are working to identify and arrest a suspect. Matt Bruce, ajc, 26 May 2022 The news comes during heightened tensions between Iran and Sweden over Stockholm’s decision to arrest and prosecute an Iranian official for murder and war crimes. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 19 May 2022 The footage shows an officer helping to arrest a suspect and place them into a police vehicle. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, 10 May 2022 Compounding the issue was that Belarus, Russia’s closest ally and a major producer of a key fertilizer called potash, was hit with its own sanctions in February for forcing a commercial airliner to land in order to arrest a dissident. New York Times, 8 May 2022 The approach helped states save their money, which some local governments later reinvested in their efforts to arrest the spread of the virus. Tony Romm, Anchorage Daily News, 6 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The boy was placed under arrest and charged with three counts of delinquency for operating under the influence of alcohol, driving to endanger, and operating a motor vehicle without a license, police said. Deanna Schwartz, BostonGlobe.com, 26 June 2022 The 30-year-old mother was placed under arrest by police. Andrew Mark Miller, Fox News, 26 June 2022 In a statement released on its website on Wednesday, Brazil’s federal police said that 13 search and seizure warrants had been issued and five people were under arrest in the case. DÉbora Álvares, ajc, 22 June 2022 According to several outlets, including The New York Times and Variety, Haggis is currently under arrest. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, 20 June 2022 Bizio has confirmed to Variety that Haggis is under arrest. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 19 June 2022 The following day, Nathaniel Glover, better known as Kidd Creole, who helped create the blueprint for rap music, was under arrest for the murder of John Jolly, 55. New York Times, 16 June 2022 The development came a day after police reported finding traces of blood in the boat of a fisherman who is under arrest as the only suspect in the disappearance. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 13 June 2022 The development came a day after police reported finding traces of blood in the boat of a fisherman who is under arrest as the only suspect in the disappearance. Fabiano Maisonnave, USA TODAY, 13 June 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

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Arrest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrest. Accessed 4 Jul. 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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