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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The authorities in Washington have been using video tapes to identify, arrest and indict those who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. WSJ, "Some, but Not Full, Justice in Chauvin Case," 30 Apr. 2021 Albertina Sisulu endured countless arrests, and was the first woman to be arrested under the General Laws Amendment, which granted police power to arrest and hold anyone suspected of a political crime for 90 days without charging them. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are 5 reasons the Nelson Mandela exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum is so meaningful," 28 Apr. 2021 For years, successive U.S. administrations have given Saudi Arabia a free pass to harass, arrest and even execute those who do not accept the government’s official interpretation of Hanbali Sunni Islam. Gayle Manchin, Time, "Raif Badawi Is Still in Prison Over a Series of Blog Posts. The U.S. Has Given Saudi Arabia a Free Pass for Too Long," 28 Apr. 2021 Even more strange is the government’s willingness to arrest and charge Serena. Erik Kain, Forbes, "‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4, Episode 2 Review: Poison The Bastards," 28 Apr. 2021 The city is prepared to arrest and prosecute any potential looters or rioters following the verdict, Lightfoot said. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, "As Chicago braces for Chauvin trial verdict, Mayor Lori Lightfoot offers stern warning: ‘Don’t test us.’," 20 Apr. 2021 Drug use among all racial demographics seems to be nearly even, and yet arrest and imprisonment of minorities is skewed. Marcus Harcus And Oliver Steinberg, Star Tribune, "Counterpoint: Legalization of marijuana doesn't lead to tyranny," 18 Apr. 2021 Shaaban’s impulse helped authorities arrest and book Michael Caleb Reed on a felony charge, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department inmate records. Washington Post, "A truck driver was trying to park his car for the night. He wound up ending a high-speed chase.," 11 Apr. 2021 Since then, authorities have come to use the sites to target and arrest critics and spread their own propaganda. Sarah El Deeb, The Christian Science Monitor, "On Clubhouse, Arabs debate taboo topics – for now," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The case centered on several disturbing social media posts and uploads that Hunt’s lawyers said were removed from the internet before his arrest. Shayna Jacobs, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump supporter found guilty of threatening to kill members of Congress after Jan. 6 insurrection," 29 Apr. 2021 Before his arrest, Finn had been suspended in March for an unrelated incident, but the department would not disclose the nature of his discipline, citing Maryland laws that prohibit them from releasing personnel information about officers. Washington Post, "Pr. George’s officer charged with assault, misconduct after encounter with handcuffed teen," 28 Apr. 2021 Wolf told news outlets his son had been in a fight with another teen shortly before the arrest. Nora Mishanec, San Francisco Chronicle, "Vacaville police investigate officer's violent arrest of teen with autism," 23 Apr. 2021 Floyd intermittently resisted arrest, prompting the responding officers to put him face down on the ground, handcuffed. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, "Anticop Movement Wants Road Anarchy Too," 22 Apr. 2021 Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, argued that Floyd's death was due to a toxic combination of fentanyl and a preexisting heart condition and said the use of force was justified, as Floyd resisted arrest. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Garland announces DOJ ‘pattern or practice’ investigation into Minneapolis police after Chauvin found guilty," 21 Apr. 2021 Matt Gaetz‘s friend, Joel Greenberg, was a lightning rod for controversy even before his arrest. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: The Newsom recall effort’s big week ahead," 19 Apr. 2021 The complaint, filed by Lawrence County sheriff’s investigator Tabitha Campbell, said Harmon resisted arrest when formally charged at the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office at 12:30 a.m. Monday. Michael Wetzel The Decatur Daily, al, "Alabama mother could be charged with death of bruised 15-month-old, DA says," 15 Apr. 2021 Police Chief Tim Gannon, who resigned on Tuesday, had said Wright's death appeared to be the result of Potter mistaking her gun for her Taser as Wright resisted arrest. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Former officer charged in the death of Daunte Wright to make first court appearance as tension eases at protests," 15 Apr. 2021

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

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

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Time Traveler for arrest

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for arrest

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arrest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrest. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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)
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

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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
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

Comments on arrest

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