Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To take into custody; arrest: apprehended the murderer.
  • transitive v. To grasp mentally; understand: a candidate who apprehends the significance of geopolitical issues.
  • transitive v. To become conscious of, as through the emotions or senses; perceive.
  • intransitive v. To understand something.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To take or seize; to take hold of.
  • v. To take or seize (a person) by legal process; to arrest.
  • v. To take hold of with the understanding, that is, to conceive in the mind; to become cognizant of; to understand; to recognize; to consider.
  • v. To anticipate; esp., to anticipate with anxiety, dread, or fear; to fear.
  • v. To think, believe, or be of opinion; to understand; to suppose.
  • v. To be apprehensive; to fear.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To take or seize; to take hold of.
  • transitive v. Hence: To take or seize (a person) by legal process; to arrest.
  • transitive v. To take hold of with the understanding, that is, to conceive in the mind; to become cognizant of; to understand; to recognize; to consider.
  • transitive v. To know or learn with certainty.
  • transitive v. To anticipate; esp., to anticipate with anxiety, dread, or fear; to fear.
  • intransitive v. To think, believe, or be of opinion; to understand; to suppose.
  • intransitive v. To be apprehensive; to fear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • . To lay hold of; seize upon; take possession of.
  • To take into custody; make prisoner; arrest by legal warrant or authority.
  • To take into the mind; seize or grasp mentally; take cognizance of.
  • To imagine, especially an object of desire or dread; form a concrete conception of: frequently opposed to comprehend or attend.
  • To understand; take an intelligent view of.
  • To anticipate; expect; especially, to entertain suspicion or fear of.
  • To hold in opinion; be of opinion concerning. See extract.
  • Synonyms To catch, arrest, capture.
  • Apprehend, Comprehend; to conceive, perceive, see, know. “We apprehend many truths which we do not comprehend. The great mystery, for instance, of the Holy Trinity—we lay hold upon it (ad prehendo), we hang upon it, our souls live by it; but we do not take it all in, we do not comprehend it. It belongs to the idea of God that he may be apprehended though not comprehended by his reasonable creatures; he has made them to know him, though not to know him all, to apprehend though not to comprehend him.” Trench.
  • To fear, dread, anticipate (with fear).
  • To imagine; form a concrete conception of anything; have intellectual perception; catch the idea or meaning.
  • To believe or be of opinion, but without positive certainty: used as a modest way of introducing an opinion: as, all this is true, but we apprehend it is not to the purpose.
  • To be apprehensive; be in fear of a future evil.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. anticipate with dread or anxiety
  • v. get the meaning of something
  • v. take into custody

Etymologies

Middle English apprehenden, from Old French apprehender, from Latin apprehendere, to seize : ad-, ad- + prehendere, to grasp; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French apprehender (French: appréhender), from Latin apprehendere. Cf. Spanish aprender. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The central concept I want them to apprehend is the connection between the manner in which God created us, and His will that we participate in the life of the Trinity through grace.

    "Catholicism, properly understood ... is one of the sexiest of the world's religions."

  • [1] I wish, however, to march on solid ground; and the only tender place I as yet apprehend, is contained in that sentence of Robert's letter to you, where he says — 'I took the manuscript of the Farmer's Boy to your

    Letter 388

  • How can we be happy when the most important this we apprehend is left to one side by the prevailing Metaphysics?

    A Hopeful New Year

  • The writer's object, we apprehend, is to sketch the habits and manners of both Northern and

    Current Literature

  • Let your readers determine from my statement whether the charge of cruelty can he established: -- The rations which I saw distributed to the prisoners were in every respect the same as those issued to the Southern soldier; possibly the former may get more fresh meat, and that, I apprehend, is scarcely a ground for objection.

    Camp of Federal Prisoners on Belle Isle, Richmond, Virginia

  • He had nothing to apprehend from the German empire, which was then contending against the Turks on the Danube.

    The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 1

  • And this, we apprehend, is what very few first performances can pretend to.

    Review of The Brides' Tragedy

  • 'Now,' said Dr X —, looking at his watch, 'it will be eight o'clock by the time we get to Upper Grosvenor-street, and Lady Anne will probably have waited dinner for us about two hours, which I apprehend is sufficient to try the patience of any woman but

    Belinda

  • Barbarians, who no longer had any resistance to apprehend from the scattered and vanquished troops of the East, spread themselves over the face of a fertile and cultivated country, as far as the confines of Italy and the Hadriatic Sea.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • It is only as we "apprehend" (which means take hold or take in) Christ through the Holy Spirit can it be possible for these spiritual riches to become ours.

    How I Know God Answers Prayer The Personal Testimony of One Life-Time

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