9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ap-ri-hen-siv] /ˌæp rɪˈhɛn sɪv/
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).
Origin of apprehensive
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin apprehēnsīvus. See apprehensible, -ive
Related forms
apprehensively, adverb
apprehensiveness, noun
nonapprehensive, adjective
overapprehensive, adjective
overapprehensively, adverb
overapprehensiveness, noun
pseudoapprehensive, adjective
pseudoapprehensively, adverb
unapprehensive, adjective
unapprehensively, adverb
unapprehensiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for apprehensive
  • I'm a bit apprehensive about making the switch.
  • Instead, I was apprehensive at the profound responsibility of having someone else's story in my hands.
  • Tremors there will always be and indeed when they cease for a while, people get apprehensive about the bigger one ahead.
  • Even those apprehensive of reading something creepy usually found they couldn't put them down.
  • Still, he was apprehensive about his first acting job.
  • The perspective suggests just how tall the trees look to a small, apprehensive bear about to climb one.
  • The athletes say they're not apprehensive.
  • Or maybe she's been away a while and is apprehensive about her return home.
  • The door creaked open partway to reveal the haggard, apprehensive heads of three young men.
  • We were curious, and a bit apprehensive.
British Dictionary definitions for apprehensive


fearful or anxious
Derived Forms
apprehensively, adverb
apprehensiveness, noun
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 apprehensive

late 14c., "capable of perceiving, fitted for mental impression," from Medieval Latin apprehensivus, from Latin apprehensus, past participle of apprehendere (see apprehend). Meaning "fearful of what is to come" is recorded from 1718, via notion of "capable of grasping with the mind" (c.1600). Related: Apprehensively; apprehensiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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