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90s Slang You Should Know


[ap-ri-hen-siv] /ˌæp rɪˈhɛn sɪv/
uneasy or fearful about something that might happen:
apprehensive for the safety of the mountain climbers.
quick to learn or understand.
perceptive; discerning (usually followed by of).
Origin of apprehensive
First recorded in 1350-1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word apprehēnsīvus. See apprehensible, -ive
Related forms
apprehensively, adverb
apprehensiveness, noun
nonapprehensive, adjective
overapprehensive, adjective
overapprehensively, adverb
overapprehensiveness, noun
pseudoapprehensive, adjective
pseudoapprehensively, adverb
unapprehensive, adjective
unapprehensively, adverb
unapprehensiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for apprehensively
Historical Examples
  • But he used a match instead, while Mrs. Effingham watched him apprehensively.

    Tutt and Mr. Tutt Arthur Train
  • "I hope Miss Howes doesn't forget," she said apprehensively.

    Miss Pat at School Pemberton Ginther
  • The child looked up at Mrs. Kilpatrick apprehensively; then the sunshine of hope broke out again through the cloud.

  • Margaret looked at it apprehensively, fearing she knew not what.

    Three Margarets Laura E. Richards
  • Washington wrote most apprehensively concerning the situation to the Congress.

    Greenwich Village Anna Alice Chapin
  • "Perhaps it is an earthquake," put in the professor, apprehensively.

    Frank Merriwell Down South Burt L. Standish
  • He was ever glancing toward the door, not hopefully as hitherto, but apprehensively, fearfully.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • "I'm afraid they're in some trouble," replied Will apprehensively.

  • She gazed at him in silence, and apprehensively, trembling from head to foot.

  • At the subdued tone, the unexpected words, she turned to him apprehensively.

    The Mystics Katherine Cecil Thurston
British Dictionary definitions for apprehensively


fearful or anxious
Derived Forms
apprehensively, adverb
apprehensiveness, noun
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 apprehensively



late 14c., "capable of perceiving, fitted for mental impression," from Medieval Latin apprehensivus, from Latin apprehensus, past participle of apprehendere (see apprehend). Meaning "fearful of what is to come" is recorded from 1718, via notion of "capable of grasping with the mind" (c.1600). Related: Apprehensively; apprehensiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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