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[uh-pren-tis] /əˈprɛn tɪs/
a person who works for another in order to learn a trade:
an apprentice to a plumber.
History/Historical. a person legally bound through indenture to a master craftsman in order to learn a trade.
a learner; novice; tyro.
U.S. Navy. an enlisted person receiving specialized training.
a jockey with less than one year's experience who has won fewer than 40 races.
verb (used with object), apprenticed, apprenticing.
to bind to or place with an employer, master craftsman, or the like, for instruction in a trade.
verb (used without object), apprenticed, apprenticing.
to serve as an apprentice:
He apprenticed for 14 years under a master silversmith.
Origin of apprentice
1300-50; Middle English ap(p)rentis < Anglo-French, Old French ap(p)rentiz < Vulgar Latin *apprenditīcius, equivalent to *apprendit(us) (for Latin apprehēnsus; see apprehensible) + Latin -īcius suffix forming adjectives from past participles, here nominalized
Related forms
apprenticeship, noun
unapprenticed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for apprenticeship
Contemporary Examples
  • This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship.

    'We Will Recover' Barack Obama February 25, 2009
Historical Examples
  • At the expiration of his apprenticeship, in 1832, he came to Ohio.

  • As far as I can make out the period of apprenticeship is much too long.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • Of his apprenticeship, and the first years of his career, no records exist.

  • Elsie smiled, and disclaimed any intention of apprenticeship.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • He liked the work just as little as he had in the beginning of his apprenticeship.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • We must serve an apprenticeship to the art of self-government.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • This is how I served my apprenticeship in the composition of songs.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • But this first apprenticeship to sorrow went deep into the man.

    John Knox

    A. Taylor Innes
  • On the expiry of his apprenticeship he worked for some time as a journeyman plumber.

British Dictionary definitions for apprenticeship


someone who works for a skilled or qualified person in order to learn a trade or profession, esp for a recognized period
any beginner or novice
(transitive) to take, place, or bind as an apprentice
Derived Forms
apprenticeship, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French aprentis, from Old French aprendre to learn, from Latin apprehendere to apprehend
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 apprenticeship

1590s, from apprentice (n.) + -ship. Replaced earlier apprenticehood (late 14c., with -hood).



c.1300, from Old French aprentiz "someone learning" (13c., Modern French apprenti, taking the older form as a plural), also as an adjective, "unskilled, inexperienced," from aprendre (Modern French apprendre) "to learn; to teach," contracted from Latin apprehendere (see apprehend). Shortened form prentice long was more usual in English.



1630s, from apprentice (n.). Related: Apprenticed; apprenticing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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