View synonyms for apprehension


[ ap-ri-hen-shuhn ]


  1. anticipation of adversity or misfortune; suspicion or fear of future trouble or evil.

    Synonyms: uneasiness, suspicion, worry, alarm

    Antonyms: tranquility, composure

  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.

    Synonyms: capture

    Antonyms: release


/ ˌæprɪˈhɛnʃən /


  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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Other Words From

  • nonap·pre·hension noun
  • over·appre·hension noun
  • preap·pre·hension noun
  • reap·pre·hension noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of apprehension1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin apprehēnsiōn-, stem of apprehēnsiō, from apprehēns(us) “grasped” (past participle of apprehendere “to grasp”; apprehend ) + -iō -ion

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

Though shy at first, I learned to convey emotions without apprehension.

Winner was also left with no time to strategize with a lawyer before her speedy apprehension, she noted.

There seemed to have been a lot of apprehension about the blue wave—and we didn’t quite get the blue wave, if you will.

From Fortune

It’s an inevitability of the pandemic, and it’s a constant source of apprehension.

At the time, there was mild apprehension—but much changed that week.

There may even be a physiological basis to our apprehension about the “other.”

Did you have any apprehension as far as playing Nancy again?

They never procure them without exertion, and they never indulge in them without apprehension.

Soon Arab-American and Muslim-American groups joined in expressing their apprehension.

Of course, there is plenty to celebrate, but there is an unmistakable sense of apprehension hanging over the anniversary.

The mother played her accompaniments and at the same time watched her daughter with greedy admiration and nervous apprehension.

Hilda took the letter with apprehension, as she recognized the down-slanting calligraphy of Sarah Gailey.

The apprehension that God will punish for not making fulfilment to him accompanies equally the oath and the vow.

He gave so violent a start, his face expressed so much of apprehension and dismay, that I stared at him blankly.

Not merely must there be a desire to perform the service; but there must be an enlightened apprehension of its nature.