apprehensive

If you're apprehensive, you're anxious or fearful. If you just got run over by a crazy bicyclist, you might be a bit apprehensive crossing the street.

Apprehensive is from a Latin word meaning "to seize," and it originally meant "quick to seize impressions or ideas, perceptive, intelligent." Now it means "anticipating something bad, fearful of what may happen." Synonyms are afraid, which suggest a more immediate fear, and fearful, which suggests a more general temperament ("a fearful child"). You can be apprehensive about a situation while being an optimistic and courageous person in general.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: apprehensive

1
adj
in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
2
adj
quick to understand
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: apprehensive
1

adj in fear or dread of possible evil or harm

apprehensive for one's life”
apprehensive of danger”
Synonyms
afraid
filled with fear or apprehension

adj mentally upset over possible misfortune or danger etc

apprehensive about her job”
“felt apprehensive about the consequences”
Synonyms:
worried
uneasy
lacking a sense of security or affording no ease or reassurance
2

adj quick to understand

“"a kind and apprehensive friend"- Nathaniel Hawthorne”
Synonyms:
discerning
perceptive
having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES