[ 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

ap·pre·hend·er, nounre·ap·pre·hend, verbun·ap·pre·hend·ed, adjectiveun·ap·pre·hend·ing, adjective

Can be confused

apprehend comprehend Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apprehend

British Dictionary definitions for apprehend


/ (ˌæprɪˈhɛnd) /


(tr) to arrest and escort into custody; seize
to perceive or grasp mentally; understand
(tr) to await with fear or anxiety; dread

Word Origin for apprehend

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