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90s Slang You Should Know


[ap-ri-hend] /ˌæp rɪˈhɛnd/
verb (used with object)
to take into custody; arrest by legal warrant or authority:
The police apprehended the burglars.
to grasp the meaning of; understand, especially intuitively; perceive.
to expect with anxiety, suspicion, or fear; anticipate:
apprehending violence.
verb (used without object)
to understand.
to be apprehensive, suspicious, or fearful; fear.
Origin of apprehend
1350-1400; Middle English apprehenden < Latin apprehendere to grasp, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + prehendere to seize (pre- pre- + -hendere to grasp)
Related forms
apprehender, noun
reapprehend, verb
unapprehended, adjective
unapprehending, adjective
Can be confused
apprehend, comprehend. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for apprehend
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The judicious reader will apprehend that I allude to the persons called day scholars.

    The Parent's Assistant Maria Edgeworth
  • I daresay some of you have never tried to apprehend what it means.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
  • I apprehend no immediate difficulty with the new Subah, although 'tis true there have been little vexations.

    In Clive's Command Herbert Strang
  • He took it as a personal grudge that Lyte was trying to apprehend his sister.

    The House of Pride Jack London
  • I was commissioned by the king to apprehend the Earl of Huntingdon.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
British Dictionary definitions for apprehend


(transitive) to arrest and escort into custody; seize
to perceive or grasp mentally; understand
(transitive) to await with fear or anxiety; dread
Word Origin
C14: from Latin apprehendere to lay hold of
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apprehend

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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