Definition of apprehend in English:


See synonyms for apprehend

Translate apprehend into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Arrest (someone) for a crime.

    ‘a warrant was issued but he has not been apprehended’
    • ‘Let's remember that we were never apprehended, arrested, charged or deported.’
    • ‘During the follow-up interviews, one subject admitted that he was apprehended via an arrest warrant.’
    • ‘According to reports, an off-duty police officer tried to intervene and was struck by the robber before he was apprehended and arrested.’
    • ‘Research has shown that a policeman plodding the streets is likely to apprehend someone committing a crime only once every 8 years.’
    • ‘A bike thief was prevented from taking a Barnes resident for a ride last month when he was apprehended by two Police Officers who had raced to the scene on their bicycles.’
    • ‘He was apprehended after the forensics team called local gardai.’
    • ‘As he attempted to leave the room, he was apprehended.’
    • ‘That is the period between the fire and when he was apprehended.’
    • ‘However, he was apprehended and arraigned and pleaded guilty.’
    • ‘In any event the appellant does not know whether anyone was apprehended in relation to the attack or not.’
    • ‘The police had simply formed an opinion as to where the woman was, and had gone to those premises to apprehend her.’
    • ‘Eventually, news reached the Captain, who dispatched a gunnery sergeant and a squad of Marines with non-defective handcuffs to apprehend her.’
    • ‘He was instrumental in a number of arrests; apprehending foreign tourists involved in sexual exploits with minors, counterfeit money scams and local hotel robberies.’
    • ‘He was apprehended because of what police are calling community policing.’
    • ‘He was apprehended when armed police swooped on his car on the outskirts of Sheffield.’
    • ‘Because she didn't seem to be armed, police cars did not apprehend her as she alternated between stops and starts and conversations with curious bystanders.’
    • ‘It was a good thing those police officers were still there, and they apprehended her easily.’
    • ‘He was apprehended by police and interrogated more than a dozen times between 1939 and 1945 over his activities.’
    • ‘He was eventually apprehended by British police who had rushed 12 miles up the service tunnel to cut him off.’
    • ‘North Yorkshire Police said he was apprehended in the city on that date.’
    arrest, catch, capture, seize
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  • 2Understand or perceive.

    ‘great art invites us to apprehend beauty’
    • ‘He posits that ‘understandings can only be apprehended and appreciated if they are performed by a student’.’
    • ‘It is only through the force of the emotionally apprehended that he can perceive the world.’
    • ‘But what controls and regulates feeling will be a wider web of feelings, which reason helps us apprehend and understand, not any reason holding authority over all feelings.’
    • ‘Usually applied to visual perception, gestalt psychology studies how we perceive a given scene and apprehend a whole that is always greater than the parts.’
    • ‘Historians, in other words, need to apprehend and to understand the rough as well as the respectable manhood of American workers.’
    • ‘Knowing, by contrast, refers to mental states' faculty to perceive or apprehend what appears.’
    • ‘These pleasures may help us to apprehend and understand such horrors, but they can only do so if they are entertaining.’
    • ‘There would be no time to turn away, no time to act, yet there would be time to perceive and apprehend.’
    • ‘Uninitiated minds are unable to apprehend the Existent by itself; they only perceive it through its actions.’
    • ‘Though we need not see as she does to appreciate her stories, understanding the vision that informs them is essential to apprehending their deeper meanings.’
    • ‘In the space that opens between these two poles we might apprehend, for a moment, the possibility of standing outside the gaze of a history which names us.’
    • ‘It took her a few moments to apprehend she wasn't lying on the ground, but still on her feet thanks to Adrian's support.’
    • ‘We assume that actions provide the particular moments for apprehending and hence for experientially cognizing the person.’
    • ‘Instead, one is confronted by visual confusion, conscious of the physical self caught in the act of apprehending through the senses without understanding via the intellect.’
    • ‘Consider for a moment how few sports allow us to apprehend the world outside our doors.’
    • ‘Fail to visit the sick, and you fail to apprehend your own journey from birth to death.’
    • ‘The itsy-bitsy spider, on the other hand, correctly apprehends the situation: the sun comes out, dries up that which washed him down, making another assault on the spout feasible.’
    • ‘Similarly, many of us work to reposition our analyses, no matter what their regional focus, both to reduce the United States and to enlarge it, always with the goal of accurately apprehending gender, culture, history and power.’
    • ‘More interestingly, I saw visual studies as a profoundly contextual approach to apprehending the social meaning of representation and visual culture.’
    • ‘This energy is beyond being contained by any religion or tradition, although humans turn to the philosophical systems known to them in apprehending it.’
    understand, comprehend, realize, recognize, appreciate, discern, perceive, fathom, penetrate, catch, follow, grasp, make out, take in
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    1. 2.1 archaic Anticipate (something) with uneasiness or fear.
      ‘he is a man that apprehends death no more dreadfully but as a drunken sleep’
      • ‘He admitted that some people had left the city some time back apprehending communal violence, but there is no such fear now.’
      • ‘The district administration apprehending trouble immediately clamped curfew in the district.’
      • ‘Information gathered by them revealed that he was persuaded to cancel his visit today by the state government as it apprehended major controversy.’
      expect, foresee, predict, think likely, forecast, prophesy, foretell, contemplate the possibility of, allow for, be prepared for
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/ˌaprəˈhend/ /ˌæprəˈhɛnd/


Late Middle English (originally in the sense ‘grasp, get hold of (physically or mentally’)): from French appréhender or Latin apprehendere, from ad- ‘towards’ + prehendere ‘lay hold of’.