Definition of arrest in English:


Line breaks: ar¦rest
Pronunciation: /əˈrɛst


[with object]
  • 1Seize (someone) by legal authority and take them into custody: the police arrested him for possession of marijuana two youths aged 16 were arrested
    More example sentences
    • Convicted in a U.S. court of drug possession and conspiracy, he appealed on the grounds that the United States did not have the authority to arrest him.
    • Given the factual circumstances, Mr Maguire's submission that the respondents acted unlawfully in arresting him for breach of the peace is not accepted.
    • This week, they impounded an east European ship, arresting its 22-man crew, 18 of whom were Russians.
    apprehend, take into custody, seize, take in, take prisoner, detain, put in jail, throw in jail
    informal pick up, run in, pull in, haul in, pinch, cop, bust, nab, nail, do, collar, feel someone's collar
    British informal nick
  • 1.1Seize and detain (a ship) by legal authority: they arrested a vessel with a ton of salmon on board
    More example sentences
    • Disappointed with the dilatory tactics of the cocoa firms, he even suggested sending a man-of-war to arrest a slave ship.
    • Without the signed Yacht Salvage Contract, the salvor is free to arrest your boat and file suit in federal court.
    • Nor has it commenced legal proceedings in England to secure its underlying claim by arresting a ship here or to enforce the arbitration award.


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  • 1 [mass noun] The action of seizing someone and taking them into custody: I have a warrant for your arrest they placed her under arrest [count noun]: at least 69 arrests were made
    More example sentences
    • In Lindley the defendant had been taken into police custody upon arrest for disorderly behaviour.
    • These are separate categories, but it does not follow that in every case of unlawful arrest by a police officer exemplary damages are appropriate.
    • The internal report will provide valuable ammunition for the Hamiltons who have said they intend to sue Scotland Yard for unlawful arrest and detention.
    detention, apprehension, seizure, capture, taking into custody
  • 2A stoppage or sudden cessation of motion: a respiratory arrest
    More example sentences
    • The sudden arrest of his motion, the abrasion of one of his hands on the gravel, restored him, and he wept with delight.
    • I also cracked my skull and had cardiac and respiratory arrests.
    • The mum-of-two suffered a respiratory arrest three weeks ago from a chest infection.
    stoppage, halt, interruption


arrest of judgement

Law The suspension of proceedings in a criminal trial between the verdict and the sentence on the grounds of a material irregularity in the course of the trial.
More example sentences
  • Probably the court had so much difficulty reaching a decision about the arrest of judgment because Curll's counsel could cite compelling precedent.
  • A spurious time-line emerges, according to which the guilty verdict, the motion for arrest of judgment, and the discussion of the motion all occurred in November 1725.
  • It may, in a proper case, lay the foundation of a motion for a new trial, but not in arrest of judgment.


late Middle English: from Old French arester, based on Latin ad- 'at, to' + restare 'remain, stop'.

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody