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

Mexican police report that 39 people were arrested for trying to cross forcibly into the US and will be prosecuted. Dara Lind, Vox, "How a march at the US-Mexico border descended into tear gas and chaos," 26 Nov. 2018 Several other bloggers were arrested and killed during that time. Jennifer Chowdhury, Marie Claire, "Why Ilhan Omar's Victory Speech Starting With an Islamic Greeting Is So Important," 9 Nov. 2018 Meyer had recently been passed over for promotion and had been arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "It's Troublingly Common for Ground Crew Members To Steal Planes," 13 Aug. 2018 Immigrants arrested in Eastern Washington are often held for brief periods at the Yakima County Jail while en route to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. Chad Sokol, The Seattle Times, "Former Mexican police officer wanted for homicide is arrested in Othello," 29 Jan. 2019 On February 15, 1978, Bundy was captured by police in Florida and arrested for the murders of Bowman and Levy. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Ted Bundy: Looking Back at the Killing Spree That Landed Him on Death Row," 25 Jan. 2019 Yeah, like for example ceramic—like a coffee cup—is bad at arresting cracks. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk: Why I'm Building the Starship out of Stainless Steel," 22 Jan. 2019 In the middle of a detente in the trade war between the two countries, the US recently coordinated with Canada to arrest the CFO of Huawei, one of China’s biggest companies. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Chinese hackers charged with stealing data from NASA, IBM, and others," 20 Dec. 2018 Which is to say, there is a danger — one roughly comparable to the level of danger for these immigrants in President Obama’s first term, when ICE had broad authority to arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants without criminal records. 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During 1923, the Customs service made 643 arrests and obtained 351 convictions, with 182 cases still pending. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019 According to People, he was released a couple hours after his arrest on bail and is set to be appear in court on October 2. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "[UPDATED] "Wizards of Waverly Place" Star David Henrie Was Arrested for Bringing a Loaded Gun to an Airport," 11 Sep. 2018 In the meantime, Wingfield faces charges of criminal threatening, simple assault, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest, police said. Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, "Two brothers, a wild scuffle, and a gun — N.H. man, 58, booked for menacing sibling," 13 July 2018 The arrest put to rest the insane theory, promulgated by some right-wing pundits, that the incendiary devices were a hoax which involved Democrats mailing bombs to themselves. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “There’s No Proof of Anything”," 28 Oct. 2018 But before the arrest, the murder sparked protests and activism in real life and social media, as people feared that police would once again neglect the murder of a black person in America. German Lopez, Vox, "Anne Hathaway’s thoughts on Nia Wilson’s murder are really worth reading," 26 July 2018 Before his arrest on Monday, Mr. Qaisari, drawing his power from General Dostum’s strong support, had repeatedly threatened government officials. New York Times, "Afghan Province in Chaos After Crackdown on Militia Leader," 4 July 2018 John was sentenced to up to six years in prison in Michigan for resisting arrest and possession of drugs. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of the Events of Dirty John," 14 Jan. 2019 Francisco Gonzalez, 22, was booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing, restraining order violation and resisting arrest, police Officer Linda Matthew said. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Man surrenders in SWAT standoff at Sacramento family home," 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

18 Feb 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)
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 \
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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