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 \ -​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

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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

Four criminal gang members and an active law enforcement officer were among those arrested. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "'Operation Freedom': 64 arrested in human trafficking sting in Fort Bend County during July," 16 Aug. 2019 Those arrested for violating the ordinance would face a judge, who would be charged with doling out a fine or possible jail sentence. John Sharp | Jsharp@al.com, al, "Why did Fairhope make sleeping in vehicles illegal?," 16 Aug. 2019 He was arrested in June 2018 and pled guilty in October to a second-degree misdemeanor charge of burglary after breaking into a Panda Express in California. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU football practice report: Crow among those signing off on addition of Jack Jones," 16 Aug. 2019 Those arrested have included two 17-year-old males and one 15-year-old female, all charged as juveniles. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Two more people arrested in July beating outside Washington Hilton," 15 Aug. 2019 After Andrea Laughlin got into a fight in April 2017, she was arrested and booked into the Southgate city jail. Andrea Perez Balderrama, USA TODAY, "A Michigan woman died in jail after eating stuffing from cell's mattress. Her son is suing," 15 Aug. 2019 He was arrested at his home Wednesday and is facing a felony charge of making an electronic threat to kill. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Ex-student, 16, accused of threatening high school," 15 Aug. 2019 Protesters also seek the ouster of Hong Kong’s unpopular top official, the exoneration of all those arrested during demonstrations, and an independent inquiry into how the police handle protests, which are frequently marred by violent clashes. Time Staff, Time, "Flights Canceled for a Second Day as Protesters Reoccupy Hong Kong's Airport," 13 Aug. 2019 The following day about half of those arrested were given court dates. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Kamala Harris Slams Trump's 'Campaign Of Terror' Against Immigrants," 12 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Dodgers got 2-1/3 scoreless innings from Joe Kelly, Adam Kolarek and Pedro Baez in the absence of Urias, who has posted a 2.06 ERA in 39 1/3 innings since his arrest. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers lose pitcher Julio Urias to 20-game suspension, then drop game to the Braves," 17 Aug. 2019 She's accused of setting a fire outside the sole doorway to the man's home, then fleeing as the flames spread, according to a probable cause statement for her arrest. Jim Walsh, USA TODAY, "She wanted a late-night hookup, but he fell asleep. So she burned his house down, police say," 16 Aug. 2019 Torres Garza has multiple warrants out for his arrest. Mara H. Gottfried, Twin Cities, "St. Paul officer who fired at suspect after he struck partner with vehicle identified," 16 Aug. 2019 Your arrest not only comes with shame and embarrassment, but with up to $10,000 in fines, increased insurance costs, and other expenses. Lauren Harrison, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll County Health Department: Drive sober or get pulled over," 16 Aug. 2019 Her arrest came just days after credit-reporting company Equifax reached a $700 million settlement with U.S. regulators over the high-profile 2017 cyberattack that exposed the data of 147 million people. Washington Post, "Prosecutors say Capital One hacker had stolen data from 30 other companies in her bedroom," 15 Aug. 2019 Buschauer, 70, has been out on bond following his arrest. George Houde, chicagotribune.com, "Testifying for defense at murder trial, pathologist says South Barrington woman’s drowning death in 2000 could have been accidental," 15 Aug. 2019 Portland Public Schools spokeswoman Karen Werstein said Anderson no longer volunteered at either school at the time of his arrest. oregonlive.com, "Former Portland school volunteer caught up in online sting, accused of luring minor," 15 Aug. 2019 His arrest ended up being a case of collateral damage. Maria Elena Salinas, CBS News, ""It's not easy to lose a family member": ICE raids in Mississippi leave family shaken," 14 Aug. 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.

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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

19 Aug 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 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

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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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