Definition of apprehension in English:

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Pronunciation: /aprɪˈhɛnʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1Anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen: he felt sick with apprehension [count noun]: she had some apprehensions about the filming
More example sentences
  • All these concerns, apprehensions, fears and coercions can be rationally addressed.
  • Some write more openly about their fears, apprehensions and emotions.
  • And they have done it primarily by heightening and exploiting public anxieties and apprehensions.
anxiety, angst, alarm, worry, uneasiness, unease, nervousness, misgiving, disquiet, concern, agitation, restlessness, edginess, fidgetiness, nerves, tension, trepidation, perturbation, consternation, panic, fearfulness, dread, fear, shock, horror, terror;
foreboding, presentiment
informal butterflies in the stomach, the willies, the heebie-jeebies
2Understanding; grasp: his first apprehension of such large issues
More example sentences
  • Experiences are grasped through either apprehension or comprehension.
  • The knowledge, then, is transformed either through intention or extension and grasped either by comprehension or apprehension.
  • Wisdom is the pure non-verbal apprehension of All.
understanding, grasp, comprehension, realization, recognition, appreciation, discernment, perception, awareness, cognizance, consciousness, penetration
3The action of arresting someone: they acted with intent to prevent lawful apprehension
More example sentences
  • Section 18 requires an intention to do grievous bodily harm or an intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer or any person.
  • How public was the juvenile's arrest, apprehension, or the incident that landed the juvenile in the public eye?
  • A warrant of arrest issued for the accused's apprehension.
arrest, capture, seizure, catching;
detention, imprisonment, incarceration
informal collaring, nabbing, nailing, pinching, bust, busting
British informal nick


Late Middle English (in the sense 'learning, acquisition of knowledge'): from late Latin apprehensio(n-), from apprehendere 'seize, grasp' (see apprehend).

Words that rhyme with apprehension

abstention, ascension, attention, circumvention, comprehension, condescension, contention, contravention, convention, declension, detention, dimension, dissension, extension, gentian, hypertension, hypotension, intention, intervention, invention, mention, misapprehension, obtention, pension, prehension, prevention, recension, retention, subvention, supervention, suspension, tension

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ap¦pre|hen|sion

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