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 formsap·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbap·pre·hen·sive·ness, nounnon·ap·pre·hen·sive, adjectiveo·ver·ap·pre·hen·sive, adjectiveo·ver·ap·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbo·ver·ap·pre·hen·sive·ness, nounpseu·do·ap·pre·hen·sive, adjectivepseu·do·ap·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbun·ap·pre·hen·sive, adjectiveun·ap·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbun·ap·pre·hen·sive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apprehensively

Historical Examples of apprehensively

  • Claude, apprehensively anxious, was afraid that she might push the screen aside.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • Apprehensively I turned, and sickened to see that that which I had dreaded most was come to pass.

    The Suitors of Yvonne

    Raphael Sabatini

  • I knew they were all hiding nearby, watching me apprehensively.

  • "I hope Miss Howes doesn't forget," she said apprehensively.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther

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

    Three Margarets

    Laura E. Richards

British Dictionary definitions for apprehensively



fearful or anxious
Derived Formsapprehensively, adverbapprehensiveness, 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

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