apprehend

To apprehend is to capture or arrest, as when the police try to apprehend criminals and bring them to justice. You also apprehend a concept when you understand it, grasping or capturing its meaning.

The verb apprehend has remained much the same since the original Latin, both in form and meaning. It comes from apprehendere "to grasp or seize." The word came to refer to learning — "grasping or seizing with the mind" — but then came to mean "seize in the name of the law" or "arrest" around the 1540s, a meaning that remains to this day. The word can also be used to suggest an anxious feeling about something about to happen.

Primary Meanings of apprehend

1.
v
anticipate with dread or anxiety
2.
v
get the meaning of something
3.
v
take into custody
Full Definitions of apprehend
1

v anticipate with dread or anxiety

Synonyms:
quail at
Type of:
anticipate, look for, look to
be excited or anxious about
2

v get the meaning of something

Synonyms:
compass, comprehend, dig, get the picture, grasp, grok, savvy
Types:
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figure
understand
catch on, cotton on, get it, get onto, get wise, latch on, tumble, twig
understand, usually after some initial difficulty
intuit
know or grasp by intuition or feeling
digest
arrange and integrate in the mind
Type of:
understand
know and comprehend the nature or meaning of
3

v take into custody

Synonyms:
arrest, collar, cop, nab, nail, pick up
Type of:
clutch, prehend, seize
take hold of; grab