If you're apprehensive, you're anxious or fearful. If you live near a busy intersection with no stop signs, you might be a bit apprehensive about 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.

Definitions of apprehensive
  1. adjective
    in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
    apprehensive for one's life”
    apprehensive of danger”
    filled with fear or apprehension
  2. adjective
    mentally upset over possible misfortune, danger, etc.
    apprehensive about her job”
    “felt apprehensive about the consequences”
    synonyms: worried
    lacking a sense of security or affording no ease or reassurance
  3. adjective
    quick to understand
    “"a kind and apprehensive friend"- Nathaniel Hawthorne”
    synonyms: discerning
    having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment
Word Family

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