Definition of apprehension in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌaprəˈhenSHən/


1Anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen: he felt sick with apprehension 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, worry, unease, nervousness, nerves, misgivings, disquiet, concern, tension, trepidation, perturbation, consternation, angst, dread, alarm, fear, foreboding
informal butterflies, jitters, the willies, the creeps, the shivers, the heebie-jeebies
2Understanding; grasp: the pure apprehension of the work of art
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.
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;
detention, imprisonment, incarceration
informal collar, nabbing, bagging, busting


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

Syllabification: ap·pre·hen·sion

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