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[ap-ri-hen-shuh n] /ˌæp rɪˈhɛn ʃən/
anticipation of adversity or misfortune; suspicion or fear of future trouble or evil.
the faculty or act of apprehending 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; seizure.
Origin of apprehension
1350-1400; Middle English (< Old French) < Late Latin apprehēnsiōn- (stem of apprehēnsiō), equivalent to apprehens- (see apprehensible) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonapprehension, noun
overapprehension, noun
preapprehension, noun
reapprehension, noun
1. alarm, worry, uneasiness; suspicion. Apprehension, anxiety, misgiving imply an unsettled and uneasy state of mind. Apprehension is an active state of fear, usually of some danger or misfortune: apprehension before opening a telegram. Anxiety is a somewhat prolonged state of apprehensive worry: anxiety because of a reduced income. Misgiving implies a dubious uncertainty or suspicion, as well as uneasiness: to have misgivings about the investment. 5. capture.
1. composure, tranquillity. 5. release. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for apprehension
  • Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear or apprehension.
  • Filled with apprehension, she decides to see a psychiatrist and a neurologist and to get her brain scanned.
  • After that, I worked in a state of constant apprehension.
  • Our first thoughts are for safety of the community and for prompt apprehension of the person responsible.
  • But there appears to be an apprehension that there is something sacred about that number.
  • She captures well the physical discomfort, worry and apprehension that fear brings.
  • With a tickle of apprehension, I dragged the e-mail icon from the dock and watched it disappear in a puff of digital smoke.
  • All of the cops that were assisting in the apprehension of this most dangerous individual should immediately be suspended.
  • The war-years letters are filled with apprehension about mankind's addiction to the use of force.
  • That expresses well the apprehension, in both senses, of an intellectual transported to another land.
British Dictionary definitions for apprehension


fear or anxiety over what may happen
the act of capturing or arresting
the faculty of comprehending; understanding
a notion or conception
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
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Word Origin and History for apprehension

"perception, comprehension," late 14c., from Old French apprehension or directly from Latin apprehensionem (nominative apprehensio), noun of action from past participle stem of apprehendere (see apprehend). Sense of "seizure on behalf of authority" is 1570s; that of "anticipation" (usually with dread) is recorded from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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