• synonyms


See more synonyms for apprentice on Thesaurus.com
  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.
  3. a learner; novice; tyro.
  4. U.S. Navy. an enlisted person receiving specialized training.
  5. a jockey with less than one year's experience who has won fewer than 40 races.
Show More
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.
Show More
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.
Show More

Origin of apprentice

1300–50; Middle English ap(p)rentis < Anglo-French, Old French ap(p)rentiz < Vulgar Latin *apprenditīcius, equivalent to *apprendit(us) (for Latin apprehēnsus; see apprehensible) + Latin -īcius suffix forming adjectives from past participles, here nominalized
Related formsap·pren·tice·ship, nounun·ap·pren·ticed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for apprenticeship

discipline, information, direction, guidance, training, schooling, preparation, teaching, lesson, trial, instruction, culture, cultivation, learning, reading, tutoring, coaching, literacy, scholarship, apprenticeship

Examples from the Web for apprenticeship

Contemporary Examples of apprenticeship

Historical Examples of apprenticeship

  • At the expiration of his apprenticeship, in 1832, he came to Ohio.

  • As far as I can make out the period of apprenticeship is much too long.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Of his apprenticeship, and the first years of his career, no records exist.

  • Elsie smiled, and disclaimed any intention of apprenticeship.

    Cap'n Eri

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • He liked the work just as little as he had in the beginning of his apprenticeship.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for apprenticeship


  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
Show More
  1. (tr) to take, place, or bind as an apprentice
Show More
Derived Formsapprenticeship, noun

Word Origin for apprentice

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


1590s, from apprentice (n.) + -ship. Replaced earlier apprenticehood (late 14c., with -hood).

Show More



c.1300, from Old French aprentiz "someone learning" (13c., Modern French apprenti, taking the older form as a plural), also as an adjective, "unskilled, inexperienced," from aprendre (Modern French apprendre) "to learn; to teach," contracted from Latin apprehendere (see apprehend). Shortened form prentice long was more usual in English.

Show More



1630s, from apprentice (n.). Related: Apprenticed; apprenticing.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper