Definition of apprehend in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌaprəˈhend/


[with object]
1Arrest (someone) for a crime: a warrant was issued but he has not been apprehended
More example sentences
  • Let's remember that we were never apprehended, arrested, charged or deported.
  • During the follow-up interviews, one subject admitted that he was apprehended via an arrest warrant.
  • According to reports, an off-duty police officer tried to intervene and was struck by the robber before he was apprehended and arrested.
arrest, catch, capture, seize;
take prisoner, take into custody, detain, put in jail, put behind bars, imprison, incarcerate
informal bag, collar, nab, nail, run in, bust, pick up, pull in
2Understand or perceive: great art invites us to apprehend beauty
More example sentences
  • He posits that ‘understandings can only be apprehended and appreciated if they are performed by a student’.
  • It is only through the force of the emotionally apprehended that he can perceive the world.
  • But what controls and regulates feeling will be a wider web of feelings, which reason helps us apprehend and understand, not any reason holding authority over all feelings.
appreciate, recognize, discern, perceive, make out, take in, realize, grasp, understand, comprehend
informal get the picture
2.1 archaic Anticipate (something) with uneasiness or fear.
Example sentences
  • He admitted that some people had left the city some time back apprehending communal violence, but there is no such fear now.
  • The district administration apprehending trouble immediately clamped curfew in the district.
  • Information gathered by them revealed that he was persuaded to cancel his visit today by the state government as it apprehended major controversy.


Late Middle English (originally in the sense 'grasp, get hold of (physically or mentally)'): from French appréhender or Latin apprehendere, from ad- 'toward' + prehendere 'lay hold of'.

  • prison from Old English:

    This comes via Old French from Latin prehendere ‘to seize’. Prehendere is a rich source of English words, being found, amongst many, in apprehend (late 16th century), comprehend (late 16th century); prehensile (late 18th century); and reprehensible (Late Middle English). A shortening of prehendere lies behind praedari ‘plunder’ and praeda ‘booty’, which lie behind depredation (Late Middle English); predatory [L16]; and prey (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with apprehend

amend, append, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ap·pre·hend

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