Definition of apprehension in English:



mass noun
  • 1Anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.

    ‘he felt sick with apprehension’
    count noun ‘she had some apprehensions about the filming’
    • ‘And though this screen migration might be a good thing for some, it comes with a fair share of apprehensions, for others.’
    • ‘There will be no one who is able to respond sympathetically to his innermost fears and apprehensions.’
    • ‘Her heart immediately picked up speed as all the fears and apprehensions from earlier in the day came back full force.’
    • ‘I had apprehensions of going to the workshop but after day one I felt very cool and could manage things.’
    • ‘And it has ever since aroused serious apprehensions and complaints from the work units and a residential community nearby.’
    • ‘There were a lot of apprehensions about the future.’
    • ‘But the friendly, welcoming workforce soon dispelled any apprehensions that young, spotty apprentices such as I ever had.’
    • ‘I had some apprehensions the night before, and some concerns as they prepped me, and started to put me out.’
    • ‘Going back to the Florida homeowner's apprehensions, her first concern was the bedroom arrangement.’
    • ‘She allowed her apprehensions to make a prisoner of her in her own home.’
    • ‘All these concerns, apprehensions, fears and coercions can be rationally addressed.’
    • ‘The complacent frivolity of its lavish mosaics suggests that the declining Roman empire had no apprehensions of imminent fall.’
    • ‘When I told her of my current apprehensions she encouraged me to continue forward, acknowledging that it can be tough.’
    • ‘The apprehensions of the Health Department are valid if we go for indiscriminate digging in places where there are chances for water stagnation.’
    • ‘The presence of the security forces personnel created apprehensions among the villagers and they took refuge in a nearby ground.’
    • ‘And they have done it primarily by heightening and exploiting public anxieties and apprehensions.’
    • ‘It is hard to face your fears and apprehensions; people will understand and tell you not to worry.’
    • ‘Some write more openly about their fears, apprehensions and emotions.’
    • ‘The company that has ‘all the time in the world’ had its own apprehensions before it decided to embark on this novel competition.’
    • ‘Today's investment climate is filled with apprehensions.’
    anxiety, angst, alarm, worry, uneasiness, unease, nervousness, misgiving, disquiet, concern, agitation, restlessness, edginess, fidgetiness, nerves, tension, trepidation, perturbation, consternation, panic, fearfulness, dread, fear, shock, horror, terror
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  • 2Understanding; grasp.

    ‘his first apprehension of such large issues’
    • ‘Consciousness requires the simultaneous apprehension in one's mind of multiple sensory features pertaining to a single scene or object.’
    • ‘The goal of science is the effective human apprehension and comprehension of nature.’
    • ‘Because interpretation is as much grounded in emotional apprehension as it is in cognitive reflection, we interpret by default as well as by design.’
    • ‘Experiences are grasped through either apprehension or comprehension.’
    • ‘She deprives language of its mimetic function, confining it to the site of its utterance and apprehension rather than using it as a tool to comprehend the world.’
    • ‘The latter requires some sort of acquaintance with, or apprehension of, objects like numbers.’
    • ‘It is a kind of gnosis, or direct apprehension of truth, which deepens over time and eventually reaches full maturity in the complete awakening experienced by the Buddha.’
    • ‘The bridge between the disparate realms of knowledge and faith was an intuitive mode of perception or apprehension called Ahnung.’
    • ‘The knowledge, then, is transformed either through intention or extension and grasped either by comprehension or apprehension.’
    • ‘But the perceptions of the senses are a low form of apprehension.’
    • ‘He hadn't seen any recognition or apprehension in her lovely eyes, but still, there had been something there…’
    • ‘Wisdom is the pure non-verbal apprehension of All.’
    • ‘This helps in no way at all to prove that such experience is direct apprehension of God and helps in no way to support the existential claim ‘God exists’.’
    • ‘For her, the aim of painting is toward the sensate apprehension of exuberant experience.’
    • ‘Poetry, music, art - these among others are vehicles that try to render the ineffable into some degree of conscious apprehension and communication.’
    • ‘The new cinema recognizes that any apprehension of the present is predicated upon an understanding of the past.’
    • ‘The former is an immanent unity consisting of sensations and the perceptual apprehension.’
    • ‘One is through sense perception and the other through a direct sort of apprehension of existence.’
    • ‘This attitude, understandable though it is, hinders our apprehension of reality.’
    • ‘In no-mind the world simply is, in it's purest state of pre-linguistic apprehension.’
    understanding, grasp, comprehension, realization, recognition, appreciation, discernment, perception, awareness, cognizance, consciousness, penetration
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  • 3The action of arresting someone.

    ‘they acted with intent to prevent lawful apprehension’
    • ‘A warrant of arrest issued for the accused's apprehension.’
    • ‘Such apprehension occurred under escort of four police officers and at which time D.C. made threats to the workers.’
    • ‘The range of reasonable apprehension is at times a question for the court, and at times, if varying inferences are possible a question for the jury.’
    • ‘In the first 18 months of diversion's operation there were 2196 apprehensions in the Territory.’
    • ‘His testimony takes various forms: an interview with a journalist in South America before his apprehension; memoirs and evidence at his trial.’
    • ‘In the case of police dogs that propensity is put to a socially useful purpose, the apprehension of persons reasonably suspected of having committed arrestable offences.’
    • ‘In some places, like the Arizona desert, apprehensions are up more than 50 percent.’
    • ‘Southern border apprehensions are up 14 percent so far this fiscal year.’
    • ‘If this Court accepts that section 38 is applicable, then it is not a reasonable suspicion or reasonable grounds of apprehension giving rise to the arrest.’
    • ‘Authorities made the apprehensions for immigration law violations, not sex crimes.’
    • ‘How public was the juvenile's arrest, apprehension, or the incident that landed the juvenile in the public eye?’
    • ‘The protection finding is based upon the situation that existed at the time of apprehension and not the date of trial.’
    • ‘A protection finding is based upon the situation that existed at the time of apprehension and not at any later date.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that ultimately that may include the issue of warrants for their physical apprehension which will be executed by officers of the South Australian executive.’
    • ‘Now, we say, your Honour, against us there is a frozen case based on the circumstances at apprehension.’
    • ‘He should have been serving a sentence now and he has avoided apprehension.’
    • ‘Section 18 requires an intention to do grievous bodily harm or an intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer or any person.’
    • ‘Right now we're faced with nearly a million apprehensions by the border patrol a year.’
    arrest, capture, seizure, catching
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘learning, acquisition of knowledge’): from late Latin apprehensio(n-), from apprehendere ‘seize, grasp’ (see apprehend).