apprehend


apprehend
[14] The underlying notion in apprehend is of ‘seizing’ or ‘grasping’; it comes ultimately from the Latin verb prehendere ‘seize’ (source also of comprehend, predatory, and prehensile). Latin apprehendere ‘lay hold of’, formed with the prefix ad-, developed the metaphorical meaning ‘seize with the mind’ – that is, ‘learn’; and that was the earliest meaning apprehend had in English when it was borrowed either directly from Latin or via French appréhender: John de Trevisa, for instance, in his translation of De proprietatibus rerum 1398 writes ‘he holds in mind … without forgetting, all that he apprehends’. More familiar modern senses, such as ‘arrest’ and ‘understand’, followed in the 16th century. A contracted form of the Latin verb, apprendere, became Old French aprendre, modern French apprendre ‘learn’. This provided the basis for the derivative aprentis ‘someone learning’, from which English gets apprentice [14]; and its past participle appris, in the causative sense ‘taught’, was the source of English apprise [17]. The chief modern meaning of the derived noun apprehension, ‘fear’, arose via the notion of ‘grasping something with the mind’, then ‘forming an idea of what will happen in the future’, and finally ‘anticipation of something unpleasant’. => APPRENTICE, COMPREHEND, IMPREGNABLE, PREDATORY, PREHENSILE

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Apprehend — Ap pre*hend ([a^]p pr[ e]*h[e^]nd ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Apprehended}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Apprehending}.] [L. apprehendere; ad + prehendere to lay hold of, seize; prae before + hendere (used only in comp.); akin to Gr. chanda nein to hold, contain …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • apprehend — 1 *arrest, detain, attach Analogous words: seize, *take: capture, *catch Contrasted words: release, discharge, liberate, *free 2 Apprehend, comprehend mean to lay hold of something with the mind so as to know it but together …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • apprehend — apprehend, comprehend In the meanings in which they overlap, these two words denote slightly different aspects of understanding. Apprehend means to grasp or perceive a general idea or concept, whereas comprehend means to understand an argument or …   Modern English usage

  • Apprehend — Ap pre*hend , v. i. 1. To think, believe, or be of opinion; to understand; to suppose. [1913 Webster] 2. To be apprehensive; to fear. [1913 Webster] It is worse to apprehend than to suffer. Rowe. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • apprehend — ap·pre·hend /ˌa prə hend/ vt [Latin apprehendere to seize, arrest, from ad to + prehendere to seize]: arrest Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • apprehend — [v1] catch and arrest bag*, bust*, capture, collar, cop*, grab, nab, nail*, place under arrest, run in, seize, take in, take into custody, take prisoner; concepts 90,191,317 Ant. lose, not catch apprehend [v2] understand absorb, accept,… …   New thesaurus

  • apprehend — (v.) mid 14c., to grasp in the senses or mind, from O.Fr. aprendre (12c.) teach; learn; take, grasp; acquire, or directly from L. apprehendere to take hold of, grasp, from ad to + prehendere to seize (see PREHENSILE (Cf. prehensile)). Metaphoric… …   Etymology dictionary

  • apprehend — ► VERB 1) intercept in the course of unlawful or wrongful action. 2) seize or arrest. 3) understand; perceive. 4) archaic anticipate with fear or unease. ORIGIN Latin apprehendere, from prehendere lay hold of …   English terms dictionary

  • apprehend — [ap΄rē hend′, ap΄rihend′] vt. [ME apprehenden < LL apprehendere, to understand < L, to take hold of < ad , to + prehendere: see PREHENSILE] 1. to take into custody; capture or arrest 2. to take hold of mentally; perceive; understand 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • apprehend — ap|pre|hend [ˌæprıˈhend] v [T] [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: apprehendere to take hold of , from ad to + prehendere to seize ] 1.) formal if the police apprehend a criminal, they catch him or her = ↑arrest ▪ The police have failed to… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • apprehend — [[t]æ̱prɪhe̱nd[/t]] apprehends, apprehending, apprehended 1) VERB If the police apprehend someone, they catch them and arrest them. [FORMAL] [V n] Police have not apprehended her killer. Syn: catch 2) VERB If you apprehend something, you… …   English dictionary