to take into custody; arrest by legal warrant or authority:
The police apprehended the burglars.
to grasp the meaning of; understand, especially intuitively; perceive.
to expect with anxiety, suspicion, or fear; anticipate:
apprehending violence.
to understand.
to be , suspicious, or fearful; fear.
Contemporary Examples

Finally, even if the court did decide to pursue charges, it would be unable to apprehend wanted suspects.
Who’s Afraid Of The ICC? Mark Leon Goldberg November 27, 2012

Two men who tried to apprehend the shooter were threatened by the gun as well.
A Murder in Wichita Joe Stumpe May 31, 2009

As the OSS pieced together the Operation Bernhard network, it made plans to apprehend those participants not already in custody.
On the Trail of Nazi Counterfeiters Dr. Kevin C. Ruffner September 19, 2014

In the script I worked on, a man pursues a woman in order to apprehend her husband.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days David Freeman December 12, 2014

Somebody yanks Chan and elbows him and he is momentarily distracted trying to apprehend his assailant.
Protesters Slimed This Good Samaritan Cop Michael Daly December 15, 2014

Historical Examples

The judicious reader will apprehend that I allude to the persons called day scholars.
The Parent’s Assistant Maria Edgeworth

“Much the same, I apprehend, as to the rich,” answered M’Leod.
Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10) Maria Edgeworth

I apprehend no immediate difficulty with the new Subah, although ’tis true there have been little vexations.
In Clive’s Command Herbert Strang

If it be for what I apprehend it to be, life will not be supportable upon the terms.
Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson

I was commissioned by the king to apprehend the Earl of Huntingdon.
Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock

(transitive) to arrest and escort into custody; seize
to perceive or grasp mentally; understand
(transitive) to await with fear or anxiety; dread

mid-14c., “to grasp in the senses or mind,” from Old French aprendre (12c.) “teach; learn; take, grasp; acquire,” or directly from Latin apprehendere “to take hold of, grasp,” from ad- “to” + prehendere “to seize” (see prehensile). Metaphoric extension to “seize with the mind” took place in Latin, and was the sole sense of cognate Old French aprendre (Modern French apprendre “to learn, to be informed about;” also cf. apprentice). Original sense returned in English in meaning “to seize in the name of the law, arrest,” recorded from 1540s, which use probably was taken directly from Latin. Related: Apprehended; apprehending.


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  • Appointable

    to name or assign to a position, an office, or the like; designate: to appoint a new treasurer; to appoint a judge to the bench. to determine by authority or agreement; fix; set: to appoint a time for the meeting. Law. to designate (a person) to take the benefit of an estate created by a […]

  • Apprehensible

    capable of being understood. Historical Examples Any time consists of parts which are themselves times, and is apprehensible only as following upon preceding times. A Commentary to Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ Norman Kemp Smith Let us retrace, but in such a form as to be apprehensible by all readers. The Posthumous Works of Thomas […]

  • Apprehension

    anticipation of adversity or misfortune; suspicion or fear of future trouble or evil. the faculty or act of or understanding; perception on a direct and immediate level. acceptance of or receptivity to information without passing judgment on its validity, often without complete comprehension. a view, opinion, or idea on any subject. the act of arresting; […]

  • Apprehensive

    uneasy or fearful about something that might happen: apprehensive for the safety of the mountain climbers. quick to learn or understand. perceptive; discerning (usually followed by of). Contemporary Examples At first everyone was apprehensive about it, but I said to her, “You sound like you were influenced by Dinah Washington.” Tony Bennett’s Winehouse Duet Jacob […]

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