ar·​rest·​ing ə-ˈre-stiŋ How to pronounce arresting (audio)
: catching the attention : striking, impressive
an arresting image
arrestingly adverb

Examples of arresting in a Sentence

an arresting film about tribal traditions in Africa at seven feet tall, he's an arresting figure in any crowd
Recent Examples on the Web And the cover art and photo by Glen E. Friedman are so arresting — no pun intended. Dalton Ross,, 28 June 2023 In one of the most arresting sequences in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, the Fremen fighter Chani (Zendaya) teaches the Atreides Duke Paul (Timothée Chalamet) the correct way to sandwalk. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Feb. 2024 Through it all, the surrogate parent-child relationship between Joel and Ellie shines through, driving the narrative and leading to one of the most arresting final scenes in gaming (and now, in a TV season). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 29 Dec. 2023 Fans listened enraptured by Non’s arresting performance of this profound ballad. Billboard Japan, Billboard, 8 Nov. 2023 From the 200th anniversary harvest at this château comes a mildly arresting bouquet of red fruit, rum and sandstone with a hint of acidity. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2023 The result is a remarkably original and arresting sound that draws on everything from spacey Afrofuturistic jazz to uplifting gospel-like vocals to apocalyptic hip-hop beats, all underscored by a lyrical commitment to social and racial justice and healing. Noah Schaffer,, 19 July 2023 The most arresting set piece here finds Ethan smoothly sailing off a cliff via a motorbike and a parachute. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 11 July 2023 But among the most arresting lines was an observation wholly removed from Chicago, where Native Son is set, and Mississippi, where both Wright and the critic, David L. Cohn, were born. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 26 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arresting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from present participle of arrest entry 1

First Known Use

1792, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of arresting was in 1792

Dictionary Entries Near arresting

Cite this Entry

“Arresting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ar·​rest·​ing ə-ˈres-tiŋ How to pronounce arresting (audio)
: catching the attention
an arresting painting

More from Merriam-Webster on arresting

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