arrest

1 of 2

verb

ar·​rest ə-ˈrest How to pronounce arrest (audio)
arrested; arresting; arrests

transitive verb

1
: seize, capture
specifically : to take or keep in custody by authority of law
Police arrested the suspect.
2
a
: 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
arrester noun
or less commonly arrestor
arrestment noun

arrest

2 of 2

noun

1
: the taking or detaining in custody by authority of law
The investigation led to his arrest.
2
a
: the act of stopping
b
: the condition of being stopped or inactive compare cardiac arrest
Phrases
under arrest
: in legal custody
The suspect was placed under arrest.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Yet his optimism remains April 4, 2018 When 81 students were attacked by a group of whites and subsequently arrested, Lawson was expelled from Vanderbilt. Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times, 11 June 2024 After hotel management requested his arrest for property damage, Garcia was arrested and taken to a local hospital for medical care, Myers said. Charlotte Phillipp, Peoplemag, 9 June 2024
Noun
Brown received credit for 610 days he’s already served in custody since his arrest and was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to Watson’s mother. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, 12 June 2024 Three additional arrests were made Wednesday in connection with 'Goon' attacks involving teens in the southeast Valley, Gilbert police announced. Lorenzino Estrada, The Arizona Republic, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for arrest 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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

Dictionary Entries Near arrest

Cite this Entry

“Arrest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrest. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

arrest

1 of 2 verb
ar·​rest ə-ˈrest How to pronounce arrest (audio)
1
a
: to stop the progress or movement of
b
: check entry 2 sense 3, slow
arrest a disease
2
: to take or keep in one's control by authority of law
arrest someone on suspicion of robbery
3
: to attract and hold the attention of
colors that arrest the eye

arrest

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: the act of stopping
b
: the state of being stopped
2
: the act of taking or holding in one's control by authority of law

Medical Definition

arrest

1 of 2 transitive verb
ar·​rest ə-ˈrest How to pronounce arrest (audio)
: 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 surgeryWayne Fields
arrestment noun

arrest

2 of 2 noun
: the condition of being stopped
developmental arrest
see cardiac arrest compare cure entry 1 sense 1, remission

Legal Definition

arrest

1 of 2 noun
ar·​rest
ə-ˈrest
: 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

arrest

2 of 2 transitive verb
: to place under arrest
arrester noun
also arrestor
Etymology

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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