citizen's arrest


Definition of citizen's arrest

: an arrest made not by a law officer but by a citizen who derives authority from the fact of being a citizen

Examples of citizen's arrest in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Martin made a citizen's arrest, according to a County of Riverside Sheriff's Department Order of Arrest. Amir Vera, CNN, "A California man was beaten after being mistaken for a suspected child predator," 18 Aug. 2019 O'Malley said in the release that citizen's arrests are legal, but dangerous. Cory Shaffer,, "County prosecutors say trio who brought teen car thieves to police station in trunk of car committed no felonies," 14 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'citizen's arrest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of citizen's arrest

1940, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about citizen's arrest

Time Traveler for citizen's arrest

Time Traveler

The first known use of citizen's arrest was in 1940

See more words from the same year

Statistics for citizen's arrest

Cite this Entry

“Citizen's arrest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster,'s%20arrest. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for citizen's arrest

citizen's arrest


English Language Learners Definition of citizen's arrest

: an arrest made by a citizen rather than by the police

citizen's arrest

Legal Definition of citizen's arrest

see arrest

More from Merriam-Webster on citizen's arrest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with citizen's arrest

Comments on citizen's arrest

What made you want to look up citizen's arrest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!