Verb apprehend Definition and Examples



Definition as verb:


apprehend (third-person singular simple present apprehends, present participle apprehending, simple past and past participle apprehended)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To take or seize; to take hold of.
  2. (transitive) To take or seize (a person) by legal process; to arrest.
  3. (transitive) To take hold of with the understanding, that is, to conceive in the mind; to become cognizant of; to understand; to recognize; to consider.
  4. (transitive) To anticipate; especially, to anticipate with anxiety, dread, or fear; to fear.
  5. (intransitive) To think, believe, or be of opinion; to understand; to suppose.
  6. (intransitive) To be apprehensive; to fear.

More definition: take into custody; arrest by legal warrant or authority, The police apprehended the burglars. grasp the meaning of; understand, especially intuitively; perceive. expect with anxiety, suspicion, or fear; anticipate, apprehending violence. understand. be apprehensive, suspicious, or fearful; fear.

1. (transitive) to arrest and escort into custody; seize

2. to perceive or grasp mentally; understand

3. (transitive) to await with fear or anxiety; dread Word OriginC14, from Latin apprehendere to lay hold ofCollins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source
mid-14c., "to grasp in the senses or mind," from Old French aprendre (12c.) "teach; learn; take, grasp; acquire," or directly from Latin apprehendere "to take hold of, grasp," from ad- "to" + prehendere "to seize" (see prehensile). Metaphoric extension to "seize with the mind" took place in Latin, and was the sole sense of cognate Old French aprendre (Modern French apprendre "to learn, to be informed about;" also cf. apprentice). Original sense returned in English in meaning "to seize in the name of the law, arrest," recorded from 1540s, which use probably was taken directly from Latin. Related, Apprehended; apprehending.


Howie, with his disappointment intensified, vowed to do everything it took to apprehend the culprit he nicknamed the Delabama Killer.

Mystical as regards the faculty by which it claims to apprehend philosophic truth.

Not only were the virtues to be explained by their relation to a common or universal good which only intelligence could apprehend, but there was nothing in all the furniture of heaven or earth which in like manner did not receive reality from the share it had in such an intelligible idea or essence.

This we are in a position to apprehend and constructively to exhibit to ourselves in the successive forms which its development assumes, for it is the same spirit, though unconscious, of which we become aware in selfconsciousness.

He seizes upon the fundamental incompatibility of a consciousness which can apprehend, and yet is separated from, the "thing-in-itself."

Thus by combined induction and identification we apprehend that one and one are the same as two, that there is no difference between a triangle and a three-sided rectilineal figure, that a whole must be greater than its part by being the whole, that inter-resisting bodies necessarily force one another apart, otherwise they would not be interresisting but occupy the same place at the same moment.

It would seem that the perception intended to constitute the standard of truth is one which, by producing a mental counterpart of a really existent external thing, enables the percipient, in the very act of sense, to " lay hold of " or apprehend an object in virtue of the presentation or sense impression of it excited in his own mind.

The third consideration is the degree to which we apprehend that endless chain of causation inevitably demanded by reason, in which each phenomenon comprehended, and therefore man's every action, must have its definite place as a result of what has gone before and as a cause of what will follow.

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