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apprehension

[ap-ri-hen-shuh n]
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noun
  1. anticipation of adversity or misfortune; suspicion or fear of future trouble or evil.
  2. the faculty or act of apprehending or understanding; perception on a direct and immediate level.
  3. acceptance of or receptivity to information without passing judgment on its validity, often without complete comprehension.
  4. a view, opinion, or idea on any subject.
  5. the act of arresting; seizure: Police apprehension of the burglar was aided by two alert teenagers.
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Origin of apprehension

1350–1400; Middle English (< Old French) < Late Latin apprehēnsiōn- (stem of apprehēnsiō), equivalent to apprehens- (see apprehensible) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·ap·pre·hen·sion, nouno·ver·ap·pre·hen·sion, nounpre·ap·pre·hen·sion, nounre·ap·pre·hen·sion, noun

Synonyms

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1. alarm, worry, uneasiness; suspicion. 5. capture.

Synonym study

1. Apprehension, anxiety, misgiving imply an unsettled and uneasy state of mind. Apprehension is an active state of fear, usually of some danger or misfortune: apprehension before opening a telegram. Anxiety is a somewhat prolonged state of apprehensive worry: anxiety because of a reduced income. Misgiving implies a dubious uncertainty or suspicion, as well as uneasiness: to have misgivings about the investment.

Antonyms

1. composure, tranquillity. 5. release.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for apprehension

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It is the result of apprehension and misapprehension, and bred of race-fear.

  • I felt a sudden chill of apprehension, and almost feared to hear the answer.

  • It was sufficient for him that in her apprehension she had turned to him.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • I knew we were going towards the ocean; and my great cause of apprehension was the bar.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Professor Maxon was close behind him, and the faces of both were white with apprehension.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs


British Dictionary definitions for apprehension

apprehension

noun
  1. fear or anxiety over what may happen
  2. the act of capturing or arresting
  3. the faculty of comprehending; understanding
  4. a notion or conception
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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

Word Origin and History for apprehension

n.

"perception, comprehension," late 14c., from Old French apprehension or directly from Latin apprehensionem (nominative apprehensio), noun of action from past participle stem of apprehendere (see apprehend). Sense of "seizure on behalf of authority" is 1570s; that of "anticipation" (usually with dread) is recorded from c.1600.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper