[ uh-pren-tis ]
See synonyms for: apprenticeapprenticedapprenticingapprenticeship on

  1. a person who works for another in order to learn a trade: an apprentice to a plumber.

  2. History/Historical. a person legally bound through indenture to a master craftsman in order to learn a trade.

  1. a learner; novice; tyro.

  2. U.S. Navy. an enlisted person receiving specialized training.

  3. a jockey with less than one year's experience who has won fewer than 40 races.

verb (used with object),ap·pren·ticed, ap·pren·tic·ing.
  1. to bind to or place with an employer, master craftsman, or the like, for instruction in a trade.

verb (used without object),ap·pren·ticed, ap·pren·tic·ing.
  1. to serve as an apprentice: He apprenticed for 14 years under a master silversmith.

Origin of apprentice

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English ap(p)rentis, from Anglo-French, Old French ap(p)rentiz, from unattested Vulgar Latin apprenditīcius, equivalent to unattested apprendit(us) (for Latin apprehēnsus; see apprehensible) + Latin -īcius suffix forming adjectives from past participles, here nominalized

Other words from apprentice

  • ap·pren·tice·ship, noun
  • un·ap·pren·ticed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use apprentice in a sentence

  • Surely she must have been one of the angels fallen from Heaven and apprenticed in Hell!

    A German Pompadour | Marie Hay
  • At last the father yielded, and the son was apprenticed to a painter,--a degradation in the eyes of Mediaeval aristocracy.

  • To be apprenticed then was to be absolutely indentured; to belong to the master for a term of years.

    Steam Steel and Electricity | James W. Steele

British Dictionary definitions for apprentice


/ (əˈprɛntɪs) /

  1. someone who works for a skilled or qualified person in order to learn a trade or profession, esp for a recognized period

  2. any beginner or novice

  1. (tr) to take, place, or bind as an apprentice

Origin of apprentice

C14: from Old French aprentis, from Old French aprendre to learn, from Latin apprehendere to apprehend

Derived forms of apprentice

  • apprenticeship, 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