arrest

verb
ar·​rest | \ ə-ˈrest \
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 \ -​ˈres-​tər \ noun
arrestment \ -​ˈres(t)-​mənt \ 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

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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

Police have arrested thousands of protesters, straining the French justice system. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "French Police Arrest Key ‘Yellow Vest’ Figure, Signaling Crackdown," 3 Jan. 2019 Robert Mueller has arrested four former Trump advisors in the past six months. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Will Actually Happen to Trump?," 19 Dec. 2018 Even more—83%—were arrested at least once during the nine years following their release. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "‘I Thought I Was Done For’: Tight Job Market Opens Doors for Ex-Convicts," 19 Dec. 2018 Most recently, Jodie became engaged to Justin Hodak in January of 2016, but broke off the engagement in March of 2017, after Hodak was arrested three times. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "All About Hallmark Star Jodie Sweetin's Difficult Journey to Find Love After Divorce," 15 Dec. 2018 But every year, many kids aren’t so lucky, and are arrested for minor first-time offenses. Peter Rezk, Teen Vogue, "America’s Criminal Justice System Is Failing Young People Like Me. Clean Slate Laws Are the Answer," 14 Dec. 2018 The day after the guy trying to kill the media, the Trump fan trying to kill the media was arrested. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018 Until the mid-2000s, the odds that an unauthorized immigrant living in the US would actually get arrested and deported were relatively low. Dara Lind, Vox, "The shift would affect thousands of immigrants who’ve been ordered deported — generally for committing crimes — but not legal immigrants or citizens.," 12 Dec. 2018 Nearly 1,400 people were arrested over the weekend, the New York Times reported — the fourth consecutive weekend that protesters took to the streets. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s role in the French protests has polarized observers," 11 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Family money could help in a national campaign, and the Senate campaign may (or may not) have helped clear the decks on a 1998 drunk-driving arrest. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Who’s In and Who’s Out of the 2020 Presidential Race—So Far," 3 Jan. 2019 High drama surrounded the arrests as the authorities blocked roads, shut down mobile and internet service and deployed thousands of officers to thwart supporters of the Sharifs from reaching the airport. Salman Masood, New York Times, "Nawaz Sharif Is Arrested on Return to Pakistan, Amid Turmoil and Bloodshed," 13 July 2018 The investigation is ongoing and police said no interviews concerning the arrests will be granted. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, "Stormy Daniels Charges Have Been Dismissed, Attorney Says," 12 July 2018 The Trump administration hasn’t yet increased arrests or deportations beyond circa-2011 levels. Dara Lind, Vox, "The shift would affect thousands of immigrants who’ve been ordered deported — generally for committing crimes — but not legal immigrants or citizens.," 12 Dec. 2018 In a letter announcing the group’s mission last month, organizers promised that hundreds of concerned citizens—scientists and academics, students, parents, artists, teachers, lawyers—had pledged to risk arrest in nonviolent direct action. Matt Stuart, Vogue, "“Sorry, We Won’t Be Long”: Extinction Rebellion Shuts Down London to Demand Climate Action," 22 Nov. 2018 As a result, the show cuts several of the book's meaty pre-discovery scenes of Camille and Amma attempting to find normalcy in St. Louis following Adora's arrest for the deaths of Marian, Ann, and Natalie, and the poisonings of Amma and Camille. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gillian Flynn Breaks Down the Differences Between the Sharp Objects Finale & Her Book," 27 Aug. 2018 The effort allows suspects with open warrants to get their cases resolved with no immediate financial cost and no risk of arrest. Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle, "Harris DA to host Make it Right event to resolve open misdemeanor warrants," 13 July 2018 Sligh was ordered to wear an ankle monitor following that arrest. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "Actor convicted of child molestation in Cherokee County," 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.

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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

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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)

: to stop the progress or movement of (something)

: 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 \
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 \

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

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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
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

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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

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