One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Anxious or fearful that something bad or unpleasant will happen.‘he felt apprehensive about going home’
anxious, alarmed, worried, uneasy, nervous, concerned, agitated, restless, edgy, on edge, fidgety, tense, strained, stressed, neurotic, panicky, afraid, scared, frightened, fearful, terrifiedView synonyms
- ‘Another pause and she strained for the answer, nervous and apprehensive all at once.’
- ‘Approaching exam time children get apprehensive and nervous about learning and become worried about making a fool of themselves.’
- ‘I was very anxious and apprehensive about going in to work.’
- ‘For ten days or more I never heard a peep from him and I was beginning to feel less apprehensive about the whole experience.’
- ‘It was a mixture of anger, worry, and sadness with tears welling in her apprehensive eyes.’
- ‘Anyway… I never realised just how worried and apprehensive he was about her visiting.’
- ‘I am very nervous and apprehensive, particularly as the hours are ticking away.’
- ‘The board of directors looked tense and apprehensive, anticipating the storm that was about to break.’
- ‘She wore an expression that could either be read as apprehensive or frightened, depending.’
- ‘An anxious start I was a bit apprehensive at the start of this week.’
- ‘Her arms are crossed and her face apprehensive, but she claims she's not nervous.’
- ‘The marines were pumped up for action, but also thoughtful, nervous and even apprehensive.’
- ‘Why were these people frightened and so apprehensive if he had committed no crime?’
- ‘If the horse gets apprehensive or frightened, his back tightens and shortens.’
- ‘He invariably looks good, but his expression frequently verges on concerned and apprehensive.’
- ‘And I must confess to being a trifle apprehensive in the days leading up to the concert.’
- ‘A lot of those deals are very tight and clients become apprehensive.’
- ‘Obviously I'm still nervous and apprehensive, but sometimes you've got to do certain things.’
- ‘In the absence of common interests states will be competitive, apprehensive, and even fearful.’
- ‘Our staff report feeling constantly afraid and apprehensive even when they are safe at home.’
2rare Relating to perception or understanding.
Late Middle English (in apprehensive (sense 2)): from French appréhensif or medieval Latin apprehensivus, from Latin apprehendere ‘seize, grasp’ (see apprehend).
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