"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ap-ri-hend] /ˌæp rɪˈhɛnd/
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
to understand.
to be apprehensive, suspicious, or fearful; fear.
Origin of apprehend
1350-1400; Middle English apprehenden < Latin apprehendere to grasp, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + prehendere to seize (pre- pre- + -hendere to grasp)
Related forms
apprehender, noun
reapprehend, verb
unapprehended, adjective
unapprehending, adjective
Can be confused
apprehend, comprehend. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for apprehend
  • Ward initiated a review of all police procedures used to apprehend, control and detain accused persons.
  • Orders had been sent to apprehend the fugitives.
  • During that time the police failed to apprehend the man.
  • People believe they apprehend the world in a rational way.
  • Just as he reaches down to apprehend the ball, he sucks in air until his cheeks bulge like twin balloons.
  • Baseball is considerably less difficult to apprehend than long division or decimals.
  • And a society which eschewed all use of force would, of course, be unable to apprehend burglars or white collar criminals.
  • It is the embracing and domination of a situation in order to apprehend the cosmos by process of coming to terms with it.
  • This is what makes climate science such a wonderful field, but at the same time one that people can easily mis-apprehend.
  • Best militants are hard to apprehend, because of the rings of security and the amount of exits that have in place.
British Dictionary definitions for apprehend


(transitive) to arrest and escort into custody; seize
to perceive or grasp mentally; understand
(transitive) to await with fear or anxiety; dread
Word Origin
C14: from Latin apprehendere to lay hold of
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for apprehend

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for apprehend

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for apprehend

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with apprehend