verb (used with object)
  1. to seize (a person) by legal authority or warrant; take into custody: The police arrested the burglar.
  2. to catch and hold; attract and fix; engage: The loud noise arrested our attention.
  3. to check the course of; stop; slow down: to arrest progress.
  4. Medicine/Medical. to control or stop the active progress of (a disease): The new drug did not arrest the cancer.
  1. the taking of a person into legal custody, as by officers of the law.
  2. any seizure or taking by force.
  3. an act of stopping or the state of being stopped: the arrest of tooth decay.
  4. Machinery. any device for stopping machinery; stop.
  1. under arrest, in custody of the police or other legal authorities: They placed the suspect under arrest at the scene of the crime.

Origin of arrest

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English aresten < Anglo-French, Middle French arester, < Vulgar Latin *arrestāre to stop (see ar-, rest2); (noun) Middle English arest(e) < Anglo-French, Old French, noun derivative of v.
Related formsar·rest·a·ble, adjectivear·rest·ment, nounpost·ar·rest, adjectivepre·ar·rest, verb (used with object)pre·ar·rest·ment, nounre·ar·rest, verb (used with object), nounun·ar·rest·a·ble, adjectiveun·ar·rest·ed, adjective

Synonyms for arrest

Synonym study

3. See stop. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rearrest

Historical Examples of rearrest

  • He had arrived only to hear, at the same time, of the acquittal and the rearrest.

    Tales from Dickens

    Charles Dickens and Hallie Erminie Rives

  • It was well that they hurried, for the emperor decided they had been released too soon and sent an edict for their rearrest.


    Martha Foote Crow

  • For the Japanese feel perfectly free to rearrest a person even after that person has been proven innocent of a charge.

  • I ordered the rearrest of General Law upon his appearance within the limits of the command.

  • The man broke out of the Arizona penitentiary, and Fraser came north to rearrest him.

    A Texas Ranger

    William MacLeod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for rearrest


verb (tr)
  1. to deprive (a person) of liberty by taking him into custody, esp under lawful authority
  2. to seize (a ship) under lawful authority
  3. to slow or stop the development or progress of (a disease, growth, etc)
  4. to catch and hold (one's attention, sight, etc)
  5. arrest judgment law to stay proceedings after a verdict, on the grounds of error or possible error
  6. can't get arrested informal (of a performer) is unrecognized and unsuccessfulhe can't get arrested here but is a megastar in the States
  1. the act of taking a person into custody, esp under lawful authority
  2. the act of seizing and holding a ship under lawful authority
  3. the state of being held, esp under lawful authorityunder arrest
  4. Also called: arrestation (ˌærɛsˈteɪʃən) the slowing or stopping of the development or progress of something
  5. the stopping or sudden cessation of motion of somethinga cardiac arrest

Word Origin for arrest

C14: from Old French arester, from Vulgar Latin arrestāre (unattested), from Latin ad at, to + restāre to stand firm, stop
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 rearrest



"to cause to stop," also "to detain legally," late 14c., from Old French arester "to stay, stop" (Modern French arrêter), from Vulgar Latin *arrestare (source of Italian arrestare, Spanish and Portuguese arrestar), from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + restare "to stop, remain behind, stay back" (see rest (n.2)). Figurative sense of "to catch and hold" (the attention, etc.) is from 1814.



late 14c., from Anglo-French arest, Old French areste, from arester (see arrest (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rearrest in Medicine


  1. To stop; check.
  2. To undergo cardiac arrest.
  1. An interference with or a checking of the regular course of a disease or symptom, a stoppage.
  2. Interference with the performance of a function.
  3. The inhibition of a developmental process, usually the ultimate stage of development.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with rearrest


see under arrest.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.