late 14c., "to grasp in the mind," from L. apprehendere
"to take hold of, grasp," from ad-
"to" + prehendere
"to seize" (see prehensile
). Metaphoric extension to "seize with the mind" took place in L., and was the sole sense of cognate O.Fr. aprendre
"to learn, to be informed about;" also cf. apprentice
). Original sense returned in Eng. in meaning "to seize in the name of the law, arrest," recorded from 1540s, which use probably was taken directly from Latin.