[ 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).

Nearby words

  1. appreciative,
  2. appreciatory,
  3. apprehend,
  4. apprehensible,
  5. apprehension,
  6. apprehensively,
  7. apprentice,
  8. apprenticeship,
  9. appressed,
  10. appressorium

Origin of apprehensive

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word apprehēnsīvus. See apprehensible, -ive

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apprehensiveness

British Dictionary definitions for apprehensiveness


/ (ˌæprɪˈhɛnsɪv) /


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 apprehensiveness



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