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

John Douglas Terrell, who is also believed to be a homeless resident of Chula Vista, was arrested Thursday in connection with the killing of 56-year-old Ivan Velez. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chula Vista police arrest suspect in slaying of homeless man," 21 June 2019 In 2016, a Florida woman was arrested and sentenced to five months in prison for making death threats against Pozner. Lawrence Andrea, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Father of Sandy Hook victim finds vindication in ruling against Dane County hoaxer," 21 June 2019 But only a small number of children are arrested each year for prostitution, Texas Department of Public Safety data show. Allie Morris, ExpressNews.com, "Texas children can still be arrested for prostitution, after Gov. Abbott veto," 20 June 2019 But this second-year player, who was released by the Cincinnati Bengals in April, was arrested three times earlier this year, incurring a felony charge and multiple misdemeanor charges. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Kelly: Which newcomers are expected to help Dolphins in 2019? | Commentary," 19 June 2019 Zottola and three other defendants were arrested Tuesday. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "New York man accused of murder-for-hire plot against his father and brother, prosecutor says," 19 June 2019 Raniere, 58, was arrested at a Mexican hideout in 2018 following an investigation his Albany-area group. Author: Tom Hays, Anchorage Daily News, "Self-help guru convicted in lurid NY sex-trafficking case," 19 June 2019 The man accused of pulling the trigger, Luis Alfredo Cortez Mendoza, 23, was arrested Saturday in Minneapolis by the Minneapolis Police Department. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Second arrest made in May Township shooting that prosecutors say is gang-related," 19 June 2019 Matthew Hester’s current wife, Angela McCraw-Hester, was arrested in 2017 for allegedly killing Annastasia Hester. oregonlive.com, "Gresham police arrest man in connection with the 2016 killing of his ex-wife," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Neither woman knows many specifics of Trump’s plan, and some analysts have said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement simply doesn’t have the manpower to carry out a vast surge of arrests. latimes.com, "Trump’s deportation plan stirs fear and defiance — and hope for some supporters," 22 June 2019 In an effort to address decades of racial disparities in drug arrests, the bill would also allow for the expungement of past convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana. David Klepper, BostonGlobe.com, "New York lawmakers OK pot decriminalization," 21 June 2019 The suspect was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing and resisting arrest, which are felonies, as well as five counts of misdemeanor assault, Phoenix Police Det. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Watch: Brawl at TSA checkpoint injures five agents," 21 June 2019 Ribariu is also charged with inducing panic and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, according to court records. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "Mount Healthy cop arrested, charged with crimes including violating a protection order," 21 June 2019 Lyles, who remained in the Collin County Jail on Thursday night, has been accused in Booker's death and had her cell phone after her slaying, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. María Méndez, Dallas News, "Suspect arrested in death of transgender woman found in White Rock Lake, Dallas police say," 20 June 2019 McKinney then pulled out an ax, Erickson said, and started destroying the safe, according to the arrest affidavit. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "STEM School shooting suspect told police he targeted specific students; teens used cocaine before attack, affidavit says," 20 June 2019 The arrest of Ahmad, a prominent member of FIFA’s executive committee, represents as a major setback to the global body’s claims of eschewing corruption after the ouster of longtime president Sepp Blatter. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "FIFA is taking over African soccer amid corruption charges at CAF," 20 June 2019 People who fall under the highest risk level 5 would be entitled to a hearing before a judge within three days of arrest. Heather Nolan, nola.com, "Could New Orleans end money bail? Advocates say tools are in place to do so," 19 June 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.

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

24 Jun 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 entry 1 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
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

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

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
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!